“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” is a popular rhyme that helps us remember the story of Christopher Columbus. Because we recently celebrated Columbus Day, here’s the rest of his story.

He was born in Genoa, Italy, which is why Italian American communities often celebrate today with parades.

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When Columbus was 13, he took his first journey out to sea and LOVED it! As an adult, he wanted to find a new route to China. Columbus persuaded Spain to fund this journey. He captained three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. It took him almost two months – landing in Cuba and the Dominican Republic – before finally reaching the New World.

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Because Columbus thought he was in the Indies, he called the native people Indians. He sailed back to Spain in March, 1493 and was named Admiral of the Ocean Sea by Spain’s king and queen.

For more information, visit: www.bbc.co.uk/schools/famouspeople

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For further reading: Christopher Columbus by David Adler