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Today in History: Columbus' Second Visit and the U.S. Gets a Million Square Miles Bigger

  • An American flag flies near the Christopher Columbus statue outside Washington's Union Station, Monday Oct. 11, 1999, during the city's annual Columbus Day ceremony. (AP Photo)

    An American flag flies near the Christopher Columbus statue outside Washington's Union Station, Monday Oct. 11, 1999, during the city's annual Columbus Day ceremony. (AP Photo)

  • An American flag flies near the Christopher Columbus statue outside Washington's Union Station, Monday Oct. 11, 1999, during the city's annual Columbus Day ceremony. (AP Photo)

    An American flag flies near the Christopher Columbus statue outside Washington's Union Station, Monday Oct. 11, 1999, during the city's annual Columbus Day ceremony. (AP Photo)

1) In 1496, Christopher Columbus concluded his second visit to the Western Hemisphere. On March 10, 1496 he left Hispaniola for Spain.

Did you know? 

According to the History.com, Columbus was at the height of his popularity after the first voyage and he led at least 17 ships on his second voyage to the New World. The flotilla embarked from Cádiz on September 25, 1493.

During the second voyage, Columbus landed in Hispanola and also explored the Cuban coastline, only to conclude that Hispaniola promised the richest spoils for the settlers. 

The admiral decided that Hispaniola was indeed the biblical land of Sheba. On June 12, 1494, Columbus insisted that his men swear a declaration to that effect. The following year he began a determined conquest of Hispaniola from the Taino. 

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2) On March 10, 1876, the first successful voice transmission over Alexander Graham Bell's telephone took place in Boston as his assistant heard Bell say, "Mr. Watson — come here — I want to see you."

3) In 1848, the Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War and officially annexed California, New Mexico and parts of current day Texas --more than a million square miles of territory-- to the United States.

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