We have published two musicals about the discovery of America one Christopher Columbus – The World is Round https://www.educationalmusicals.co.uk/product/christopher-columbus/. The other about Leif the Lucky’s discovery of America 400 years earlier called The Lucky Viking – The Discovery of America https://www.educationalmusicals.co.uk/product/the-lucky-viking/.

Luck Viking musical

But, neither of them found North America, Leif landed in an island by Newfoundland and Columbus the Bahamas!

So, having already discovered Asia, why did it take 400 years for the world to go back and look for North America?  Columbus, of course, found it by mistake as he was looking for a quicker route to India.  It is why he called natives Indians, he thought he was in India  Christopher Columbus musical

 

But, neither of them found North America, Leif landed in an island by Newfoundland and Columbus the Bahamas!

So, having already discovered Asia, why did it take 400 years for the world to go back and look for North America?  Columbus, of course, found it by mistake as he was looking for a quicker route to India.  It is why he called natives Indians, he thought he was in India!

Did Columbus know the World was round?

Christpher columbus shown in front of his shipI think he did. 

Columbus was born in Genoa.  A town from which the sailors sailed to as far away as the North Sea and the ports along the Norwegian coast. There, in the bars, they meet Viking sailors who talked about a place where people lived in subterranean houses and were frightened by wild animals. They were told it was a land with no wheat, wine nor even fruit, where all the people live on milk, meat, and fish. They learnt of huge white bears, that swim in the sea and bring shipwrecked sailors to the shore.

 

Leif the Lucky

Leif, a striking Viking standing on a rock with the sea behind him.Somewhere around 1000AD Leif left his settlement in Greenland to find a

 

 land that sailors had told him they had seen on the horizon.

Why did he go, well?

  • His father was highly respected in the Viking community, he had discovered Greenland.
  • Because in his community he was regarded as the unluckiest Viking there had ever been.

He did discover a new land, he called it Vinland.  He didn’t like it, couldn’t see any future for it, and didn’t think there was any point in staying here, so left.

Was that why the called himLeif the Lucky?

No, though maybe it should have been! In fact, he got the nickname, as on their return journey he rescued an Icelandic castaway and his crew. That is in fact what got him the nickname “Leif the Lucky”.

Where did Leif actually land?

At L’Anse aux Meadows on the northernmost tip of the island of Newfoundland.  We know this from the discovery there of a Norse settlement there dating back to 1000 AD. Historians believe this is where Leif landed and set up his settlement.  Note the position, it appears that he landed on an island just off the North America coast.  So, he didn’t actually reach America.

Did Columbus get there 500 years later?

No, he landed in the Bahamas in 1492!

He didn’t think he had found America, he thought he had reached the islands we call Indonesia. It took several journeys by other European explorers to find out that the Caribbean Islands and Indonesia were not part of the same archipelago.

The interesting bit

This is why the islands around Indonesia became known as the East Indies and those in the Caribbean as the West Indies.

So, who was the first man to actually reached the continent of North America?

Isn’t history fun?