Christopher Columbus was a sailor and then a ship’s captain. His home was Italy. He believed he could reach the Far East—Asia—by sailing west. This was a new idea in 1492. Few people believed him, but Columbus made Queen Isabella of Spain share his dream. She gave him money to hire a crew and three tiny ships: the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria. They set sail from Spain in August. The men sailed for seventy days before they saw land. It was an island that Columbus named San Salvador. This name meant "Holy Savior." Little did they know that they had landed in a "new world." Asia was still another ocean away.

A Sailor