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I Read the News Today

Weird and wonderful, it all happened in October

BIRDS OF PARADISE

1492 COLUMBUS TAKES A TURN

Today, 12 October is celebrated as ‘Columbus Day’ – to mark the day when Italian explorer Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World. Mistakenly hailed as the man who discovered America, Columbus actually landed on one of the islands of the Bahamas, but if he hadn’t changed direction a few days earlier, he would indeed have landed at Florida.

After two months at sea, Columbus and his crew were desperate to find land (in Asia, as he thought), and believed birds would lead the way. So when a large flock was seen flying south-west on 7 October, Columbus ordered the Santa María, Pinta and Niña to stop sailing west, which would have taken them to North America, and follow the tern-like birds. When land was finally spotted at 2am on12 October, a small cannon was fired.

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The October 2015 issue of History Revealed