North America

On October 12, 1492, when Christopher Columbus first sighted the island, he called San Salvador, now in the Bahamas, he thought he had reached islands off the coast of Asia. Five years later Amerigio Vespucci, an Italian navigator claimed that the land was not Asia, but a vast continent of a New World. The first mapmakers mistakenly believed that Vespucci was the first European to reach the New World. The name “Amerigo” was given to a new continent, eventually becoming America.