Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) was a Genoese navigator, explorer and colonizer. From the Portuguese, he learned about efficient travel in the Atlantic and the direction of the winds.
When he proposed to King John II of Portugal to reach the Indies (comprising India, China, the East Indies and Japan) by sailing westward, his idea was rejected because Bartolomeu Dias, a Portuguese navigator, had recently returned with news of his successful trip to the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, from which an eastern route to Asia was now possible. Columbus, therefore, turned to the Spanish crown for support.
On August 3rd 1492, he left the port of Palos de la Frontera with a small fleet of three ships: Santa Maria, Nina and Pinta. Seven weeks later, on October 12, he landed in an island of the Bahamas, which he later called San Salvador.
Thinking he was in Asia, Columbus promptly named its inhabitants “indios”- Indians - natives of the Indies. Afterwards, he made three more voyages, between 1494 and 1504, in which he made new and important discoveries, such as exploring more islands and the coast of mainland South America. Nevertheless, he never reached Asia, which was the original goal of his expeditions.
Columbus was married to Filipa Moniz Perestrelo. Her father, Bartolomeu Perestrelo, was the first governor of the island of Porto Santo in the Archipelago of Madeira. Columbus lived in this island and his first child, Diogo, was also born there. The house where he supposedly lived is now the House/Museum of Christopher Columbus.
The anniversary of Christopher Columbus´ arrival in the Americas (on October 12, 1492) is celebrated in the USA as Columbus Day.
Grimberg, Carl. História Universal vol 9. Publicações Europa-América . Lisboa 1967