For many schoolkids growing up in the U.S., this year is one of the first they memorize thanks to the classroom rhyme, "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." Yes, Virginia, he did sail across the Atlantic in search of the New World. But even before his maiden voyage, Columbus actually witnessed another milestone from that year: the Spanish siege of Granada, which was the last Moorish stronghold to fall to Spain, that ended on Jan. 2. However, it was Columbus' first voyage leading the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria that made 1492 so memorable. The Spanish-funded expedition left Europe on Aug. 3 and finally found land in October in an area that later became the Bahamas. The next decade brought three more trips around modern-day Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
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