What Happened in 1492

Historical Events

  • Apr 17 Christopher Columbus signs a contract with the Spanish monarchs to find the "Indies" with the stated goal of converting people to Catholicism. This promises him 10% of all riches found, and the governorship of any lands encountered.
  • Aug 3 Christopher Columbus sets sail on his first voyage with three ships, Santa María, Pinta and Niña from Palos de la Frontera, Spain for the "Indies"
  • Oct 2 King Henry VII of England invades France
  • Oct 12 Christopher Columbus's expedition makes landfall on a Caribbean island he names San Salvador (likely Watling Island, Bahamas). The explorer believes he has reached East Asia (OS 21 Oct)
  • Oct 28 Christopher Columbus sights Cuba and claims it for Spain under the name "Juana"
  • Nov 5 Christopher Columbus learns how to grow and harvest maize (corn) from Cuba's indigenous population
  • Nov 7 Ensisheim Meteorite strikes a wheat field near the village of Ensisheim in Alsace, France. Oldest meteorite with a known date of impact.
  • Nov 15 Christopher Columbus notes 1st recorded reference to tobacco
  • Dec 26 1st Spanish settlement La Navidad in the New World is founded by Christopher Columbus (modern Môle-Saint-Nicolas in Haiti)
  • More Historical Events

Famous People Born in 1492

  • Jan 12 Andreas Alicatus, Italian author
  • Mar 4 Francesco de Layolle, Italian composer and organist, born in Florence
  • Mar 6 Jean Luis Vives, Spanish theory/humanist/reformer
  • Apr 4 Ambrosius Blarer, German reformer, born in Konstanz, Germany (d. 1564)
  • Apr 11 Marguerite of Navarre, Queen of Navarre, wife of Henry II of Navarre, born in Angoulême, France (d. 1549)

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Famous People Who Died in 1492

  • Apr 9 Lorenzo de' Medici (the Magnificent), leading Florentine statesman and patron of the arts during Florentine Renaissance, dies at 43
  • Jun 7 Casimir IV Jagiellon, King of Poland (1447-92), dies at 64
  • Jun 16 Jan Coppenhole, Flemish rebel leader, beheaded
  • Jul 25 Innocent VII [Giovanni B Cibo], Italian Pope (1484-92), dies
  • Oct 12 Piero della Francesca, Italian painter

More Famous Deaths