Today is Columbus Day. That fact just demonstrates how strong Latin history is. It took historians up until the late 1970's to come up with more historical facts about the colonization of the Americas.
Even though some history and speculation of what lay west of Spain (put your hand over the western portion of the map). That is what was known of the area (nothing). It took Columbus's courage to think of going strait out to sea (nothing was known of what was there). It is hard to understand. It is similar to walking away from home for the first time.
We now know that folks walked across Asia to the new world and that some Vikings moved from island to island to North America before Columbus. But not to us we learned of Columbus first because of the strength of Spanish Colonization of the Americas.