It was right here at this point on the U.S. Virgin Islands that Christopher Columbus made landfall on his second voyage to the new world. 425 years later, these islands would become part of the United States of America. A country that would spring from the greatest colonization effort, the world has ever seen. The colonization of the North American continent. A year earlier, Columbus had embarked on his first journey of discovery. Columbus himself was a man of mystery, whose origins are still debated today. The legend has it that Columbus had to convince king Ferdinand the second and Queen Isabella of Spain. To outfit three ships. The Nina, the pinta, and his own flagship, the Santa Maria, for a voyage west to find the far east. It was a daring plan. Since at this time, other nations were sailing east around Africa, looking for a sea route to India and China. As a result, Columbus blazed the most famous sea route in history. The route to the new world. And his voyages would lead directly to the colonization of North America. It started on August 3rd, 1492. When Columbus sailed from palos, Spain. 69 days later, he and his crew landed at the present day island of San Salvador. Columbus thought he had made it to India, and even named the Caribbean islands, the Indies. Now looking for gold, Columbus traveled from San Salvador to present day Cuba. Then Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. On March 15th, 1493, Columbus completed his journey and returned to Spain. His next voyage took him to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Where he interacted with the native islanders. On his third voyage, May 1498, to October 1500, Columbus sailed to Trinidad and then to Venezuela. On his fourth and final trip, May 1502 to November 1504. Columbus sailed to Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. Following Columbus's last voyage, Spanish conquistadors spread out through the southern part of North America. Beginning with Ponce de Leon, landing in Florida in 1509. Other European nations followed England, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden. It was an effort that would span more than 200 years. Colonize a vast, untamed land, and ultimately lead to the founding of the United States of America.