Christopher Columbus Fun Facts for Kids
Christopher Columbus’s is credited with discovering America. His real name was Cristoforo Columbo. He was the son of a wool weaver. He had three brothers and a sister. His family was working class, he was not wealthy.
When he was young he and his brother had a map business. They would sell maps. He had no formal education. Everything he learned he learned by reading however as an adult he did attend a school in Portugal for navigation.
He was 17 when he first started working on ships as a hand.
He had 2 sons with two different women. Both of his sons worked for Queen Isabella. His plan to find a new route to Asia was rejected by the Portugese and the Italians. He went to Spain next and pitched his plan to get the funding together.
Going Out to Sea
He embarked on his voyage in August of 1492 with the three ships from Spain. Columbus and his crew packed light. They wore the same clothing for the duration of the journey. Columbus used maps that had been created by Muslim explorers from the Mid-East.
The ship was full of rats, the crew was full of lice and many crew members fell ill and some died on the journey.
Finding the New World
A crew member spotted the land that was soon to become the New World. Other sailors had been to the country before but they just never mentioned it. Columbus actually never set foot in North America.
More than half of Columbus’s proposed journeys failed, he considered the discovery of North America a failure as well because he did not find an easier route to Asia.
Locked in Captivity
He spent a year in prison on the island of Jamaica. He is credited with introducing horses to the new world purely by accident as several jumped ship and created their own herd.
He was said to be a terrible leader whose crews often spoke of mutiny. In his journals he recorded that he had told his crew if they did not find land in 2 days that they would turn back. Rations were limited and the crew was hungry. He also noted in his journal that he had no intention of turning back.
He actually landed on islands in the Caribbean and thought that he was on islands outside of Asia. The world evidently was a lot bigger than what Columbus thought it was. Columbus Day has been celebrated in the US since 1906.