Oct. 12, 1492, two hours after midnight, Columbus sighted land. He named the first island San Salvador, meaning “Holy Saviour.” After meeting the natives, Columbus wrote: “So that they might be well-disposed toward us, for I knew that they were a people to be … converted to our Holy Faith rather by love than by force, I gave to some red caps and to others glass beads. … They … became so entirely our friends that it was a wonder to see. … I believe that they would easily be made Christians, for it seemed to me that they had no religion of their own.”

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