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Columbus, Christopher - Italian navigator and explorer who discovered America for Spain on October 12, 1492.  Columbus was known as the "Admiral of the Ocean Sea," the Atlantic being known as the "Ocean Sea" at that time to distinguish it from the Mediterranean Sea.

It was Columbus who gave the natives of American the name "Indios," or "Indians," first mentioned in his journal of October 17, 1492, after landing at San Salvador or Cat Island in the Bahamas.  After describing the natives he wrote:  "All these Indians I am taking with me."

Columbus thought at the time that he was cruising among the islands of the eastern Indies off the Asiatic Coast, and that the people he saw were therefore Indians.

Indian watching Columbus sail to shore

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