The day celebrates explorer Christopher Columbus’ landing in the New World on October 12, 1492.
Early that morning, a sailor on board the Pinta spotted land. The following day, 90 crew members of Columbus’ fleet of three ships arrived at the Caribbean island which he named San Salvador. San Salvador Island, also known as Watling Island, is part of the Bahamas.
Columbus’ landing marked the end of a voyage that began around 10 weeks earlier in Palos, Spain and the launch of a new era of European exploration.