06/11/1492 Christopher Columbus learns of maize from Indians of Cuba
Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn — HHMI BioInteractive Video
Columbus embarked on the first of what would be four voyages, reaching the Bahamian Islands in 1492. He discovered a thriving indigenous people, the Taino, a tribe of the native Arawaks, who drew sustenance from colorful native crops, fish, and game. Maize, beans, squash, and seafood were central components of the native diet.