On This Day

Historical Events in 1492

Completion of the Reconquista

Jan 2 Muhammad XII, the last Emir of Granada, surrenders his city to Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabel I of Castile, ending both the Reconquista and centuries of Muslim rule in the Iberian peninsula

  • Jan 16 The first grammar of a modern language, Spanish, is presented to Queen Isabella.
  • Jan 19 Supplies to build Portuguese trading post Castelo de São Jorge da Mina (Elmina Castle) arrive on the Gold Coast (now Ghana), first European building south of the Sahara
  • Mar 4 King James IV of Scotland concludes an alliance with France against England

Historic Event

Mar 31 Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon issue the Alhambra Decree which expels Jews from their kingdoms

Contract of Interest

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.

  • Apr 30 Christopher Columbus is given royal commission by Spanish monarchs Isabella I and Ferdinand II to equip his fleet to the New World
  • Apr 30 Spain announces it will expel all Jews
  • May 15 Cheese & Bread rebellion: German mercenaries kill 232 residents of Alkmaar, Netherlands

Santa María

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"

  • Aug 11 Rodrigo de Borja becomes Pope Alexander VI
  • Aug 12 Christopher Columbus arrives in the Canary Islands on his first voyage to the New World
  • Sep 6 Christopher Columbus' fleet leaves Gomera, Canary islands
  • Sep 25 Crewman on Pinta sights "land"-a few weeks early
  • Oct 2 King Henry VII of England invades France
  • Oct 7 Christopher Columbus misses Florida when he changes course
  • Oct 12 Flemish rebel leader Philip van Kleef surrenders
  • 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 13 English admiral Sir Edward Poynings' fleet occupies Lock
  • Oct 14 Christopher Columbus leaves San Salvador; arrives in Santa Maria of Concepcion (Bahamas)
  • Oct 16 Christopher Columbus' fleet anchors at "Fernandina" (Long Island, Bahamas)
  • Oct 19 Christopher Columbus sights "Isabela", now Fortune Island/Long Cay, Bahamas
  • Oct 24 24 Jews are burned at the stake in Mecklenburg, Germany
  • Oct 26 Lead (graphite) pencils first used
  • 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.

Historic Event

Nov 9 Peace of Etaples between Henry VII of England and Charles VIII of France