Happy Christopher Columbus Day! The holiday is dedicated to the man who "discovered" America in 1492 and brought European colonialism to the New World. Christopher Columbus was born sometime before October 31, 1451 in the Republic of Genoa, now part of modern-day Italy, and was hired by the Spanish crown to find a western route to Asia so it could compete with other European nations in the spice trade. His first voyage was in 1492 when he intended to sail to Japan. Instead, Columbus reached the Americas and landed on an island in the Bahamas that he named "San Salvador." Columbus would sail three more times to the Americas, visiting the Greater and Lesser Antilles, the Caribbean coast of Venezuela, and Central America, declaring it all part of Spain. Click on for funny and thought-provoking memes about the man who "discovered America."