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[thunder] Narrator: 500 of them, making their way through swamps, in unfamiliar terrain, passing creatures they’d never seen before. During the course of the march about a hundred of his troops dropped out. [storm] [music] Narrator: And waiting for them at the end of it all…a battle they might not survive.

[gun shot] [men shouting] And the stage is set for this really very rapid and a very bloody end game.

450 years ago, Avilés was an important maritime center.

[wave crashes] Hundreds of young men grew up learning how to navigate along these shores.

Narrator: History books have focused on other motivations…the drive to explore the New World…the desire to plunder its riches.

But Columbus was also a fervent Christian, who believed his explorations could play a role in fulfilling Biblical prophecies.

One of them was Pedro Menéndez, who became, over time, one of the King’s most trusted men.

He understood the winds, the waves and the weather better than almost anyone at the time.

The year was 1565…and the entire east coast of what is now the United States had been claimed as Spanish territory by Ponce de Léon 52 years earlier.

It was known as “La Florida” (Lah Flor-EE-dah) and it stretched north to Nova Scotia and all the way west to the Mississippi…and along the Gulf of Mexico to Texas.

If we took that as a beginning, I think we would have a very different picture of the United States Narrator: This…the rest of the story…of America’s birth.

It’s just as much a part of American History as Washington crossing the Delaware or Paul Revere’s ride. [cannon fire] Narrator: This…is American history…revised. [thunder clap] Narrator: They had been walking night and day…struggling against fierce winds and rain that had already proven deadly.

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