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On Friday, October 12, 1492, at 2.00 a.m. a sailor by name was spotted from land by the Spanish caravel "Pinta". It was the Bahamas island of Guanahani, the name in the indigenous language of the time (as it is called again today), which Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) called San Salvador. This is considered until today as the day of the discovery of America or the New World. But already 500 years before Columbus someone else had entered the American continent. Around the year 1000, the Icelandic Viking Leif Eriksson (son of the Greenland explorer Erik the Red) sailed south from Greenland and reached the American coast. He called the area "Vinland". Whether the name Vinland actually means "wine country" is not clear, it could have meant "pasture" or "grazing land" or "meadow". There have been many attempts to identify the place exactly, one version names the island Manhattan at the place of New York, another one a place near the present city of Boston in the state of Massachusetts.

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