Mint Christopher Columbus Souvenir Sheet
Columbus made four voyages of exploration at the end of the 15th century that introduced the New World (the Americas) to Europe. He wasn’t the first to discover North America – Leif Erickson established a settlement, “L’Anse aux Meadows,” in present-day Canada 500 years earlier. But as one historian noted, “Columbus’ claim to fame isn’t that he got there (America) first; it’s that he stayed.”
The most famous voyage was the one aboard the “Nina,” the “Pinta,” and the “Santa Maria.” The goal was to find a westward route to China – instead, Columbus found a new continent. He first landed in Bermuda, on an island he called “San Salvador.”
Columbus later explored Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, and the coasts of Central and South America. He was named “Admiral of the Oceans” by Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella and served as a colonial governor. But in his later years his influence decreased – he was even sent home to Spain in chains to face trial (but was released).