Columbus argued that by sailing west, he could reach the lands described by Marco Polo on his travels to China, Japan and India, rich in spices and treasures.

On April 17, 1492 the Spanish monarchs named Admiral Columbus viceroy and governor of all the lands he discovered on his journey, granting him the right to receive a tenth of the revenue they produced.

The expedition comprising the nao Santa María, commanded by Christopher Columbus, and the caravels La Pinta and La Niña sailed from Puerto de Palos on August 3, 1492.

They sailed for 70 days until Rodrigo de Triana, La Pinta’s lookout, sighted land and a group of men disembarked on the morning of October 12. That day Columbus and his men reached the island of Guanahani in the Bahamas archipelago, which they named San Salvador.

The Spaniards’ settlement in the Caribbean marked the beginning of the conquest and colonization of the New World, subsequently called America.

The link between the Old and New World made October 12, 1492 a significant date. The two became interconnected, thereby initiating their cultural, commercial and religious exchange, one of the most important events in the history of mankind.

In Mexico, on Sept. 24, 1892, Congress declared that day a national holiday. From 1917 onwards, it was called Columbus Day, on the initiative of President Venustiano Carranza. Emilio Portes Gil subsequently made this civic celebration official and on October 10, 1929, Congress approved the bill to make October 12 a national holiday called Columbus Day and the Anniversary of the Discovery of America.