Christopher Columbus Sets Sail

U.S. #2624-29 – Printed using 100-year-old dies, the 1992 Columbians recreated the popular issues on souvenir sheets with historical drawings in the selvage.
U.S. #2624-29 –
Printed using 100-year-old dies, the 1992 Columbians recreated the popular issues on souvenir sheets with historical drawings in the selvage.

On August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus left Spain to find a water route to the fabled gold and spice islands of China. Though he didn’t find what he was looking for, his trip made him famous.

With his three ships, the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, Columbus sailed for two months before he saw land he believed to be China. It was actually the Bahamas, which he claimed for Spain. He continued his journey, reaching Hispaniola (which he first believed to be Japan) that December and established a small colony there. He brought gold, spices, and local captives back to Spain the following spring and was honored by the Spanish court.

Columbus would lead four expeditions during his lifetime. Though he never did reach Asia, he was the first European to explore the Americas (after the Vikings in the 10th century). He also brought countless riches back to Spain, making it one of the world’s most powerful nations.

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  1. I heard that the Queen of Spain was a big Ray Charles fan and when Chis said he was going to America the queen gave him ships to go there and find Ray Charles and bring him back to Spain to play for the queen. She had all his records but couldn’t play them because the record player hadn’t been invented yet. -ref: Flip Wilson

  2. Hi,

    This is a really good series…it occurs to me you might think out of the box and see if it could be applied as an aid to classroom history lessons…which might inspire interests in stamps, as well. Not sure how you’d do it, but a way to recirculate cancelled stamps, perhaps…and gain a tax credit as well…if it works, just send me an upside down Jenny…thanks Tom Baldwin

  3. I must share, I too enjoy reading “This Day in History”. Today’s, regarding famous
    Christopher Columbus, was most enlightening to me. I did not begin to know just what a difference his expeditions made. Nothing like gold and riches to help out his nation.

    So, going forward, am I going to learn something new every day? No doubt about it!

  4. I love the engraving on these stamps and the fact that they were produced from the original printing dies. Beautiful.

  5. He and his officers and crewmen had to be courageous and bold to make this trip. They were like the astronauts of today in that pioneering spirit. It was interesting that other countries such as Italy and Spain co-issued similar issues. The Spanish set was the lowest in cost.

  6. Since I specialize in US stamps as well as help out at our largest stamp shop with the US section.
    I bought all the different sets of these stamps.
    Very nice !

  7. As an 82 year old Korean War Veteran and a stamp collector
    since age twelve, and as a History Major, I’m enjoying A Day In
    History with joy and I have gotten my grand daughters to watch
    also…..their comments are on the wild side….keep up the great work !!!!


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