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After leaving Spain in hopes of finding a new trade route for his financiers, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, the explorer Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) eventually landed in what would later be recognized as North America after a five-week voyage. Leaving Spain on August 3, 1492, Columbus' three ships first made repairs in the Canary Islands before sailing to the southwest a month later. Expecting to reach an unexplored area of Asia, he instead landed on the island of Guanahani (which Columbus renamed San Salvador in what is now The Bahamas) on October 12. The true locale of Columbus' landing is still up for debate: More than likely, his landing site was on present-day Samana Cay, Plana Cays or the later named San Salvador Island. It is said that Columbus never accepted that he had discovered a new continent; it is suggested that he maintained throughout his life that the islands were part of Asia.
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