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Columbus Day (full text)

On the second Monday of October
Americans celebrate
Columbus Day
They remember
Christopher Columbus's voyage to America
in 1492
Who was Christopher Columbus?
Christopher Columbus was born
in 1451 in Genoa
a city on the north-west coast
of Italy
At this time
Genoa was a very important
commercial port
The young Christopher
often went to the port
and watched the ships leave
They seemed to go
under the horizon
Many people at this time
thought the world was flat
but others, Columbus included,
believed that the world
was round
Columbus wanted to test this idea.
He first went to sea when he was only 14 years old.
Columbus went to live in Portugal
When he was only 23
he had the idea of going to India,
China and Japan
by sailing west
If the world was round,
this was possible, he thought.
But he needed money, ships and men
He asked a lot of people for support
including the kings of Portugal
England and France
but he got no help.
Then he explained his idea to King Ferdinand
and Queen Isabella of Spain.
They were interested and, after some years,
they decided to help him
They gave him three ships:
the Santa Maria, the Niña and the Pinta
It was difficult to find sailors for the voyage
because it was long and dangerous
Finally, Columbus found about 90 men.
He was ready to test his theory
On [the] third [of] August 1492
Columbus and the sailors left Palos
on the coast of Spain.
Queen Isabella and other important people
went to see him leave
Columbus navigated
with a magnetic compass
His ships travelled
about 150 miles a day
The voyage was long and difficult
but the three ships arrived at the island
of San Salvador
in the Bahamas
on [the] twelfth [of] October 1492
Columbus's voyage
changed the future of navigation
and the world.
People in Europe called the new lands
"New World"
When Columbus returned to Spain
he told the King and Queen about the new lands
and showed them gold,
valuable objects and even some natives.
They were happy with Columbus's discovery.
After Columbus, people from other European countries
also went to the New World.
Spain, Portugal and England established colonies there.
They found many new foods,
plants and animals in the New World.