Today, the Columbus Commemorative Half Dollar Coin remembers when the three facsimile caravels arrived in the lower harbor of New York on April 24, 1893.
These caravels arrived from Spain to participate in the Columbian Exposition taking place in Chicago to recognize the 400th anniversary of Columbus arriving in the New World.
The Waterbury [CT] Evening Democrat of April 25, 1893 told of the arrival of the Spanish caravels on the previous evening:
Ocean Voyage Ended
Caravels Beat the Rest of the Fleet to New York.
Saluting John Paul Jones’ Flag
The Spanish Fleet Arrived Off Sandy Hook Late at night— The Ceremonies at Navasink Highlands—Full Programme at Tomorrow’s Doings.
New York, April 25. The Spanish caravels, facsimiles of the vessels in which Columbus crossed the Atlantic 400 years ago, are here and the Spanish warships which accompanied them from Hampton Roads sailed past Sandy Hook and into the lower bay last night.
The gunboats had their colors flying as did also the caravels which they had in tow— the one the colors of the Spain of today, the other the royal colors of Castile and the one which Columbus carried at the mastheads of his vessels when he crossed the unknown seas on his voyage of discovery.
The man-of-war Infanta Isabel, towing the caravel Pinta, was the first to arrive. They passed Sandy Hook at 9:45.
It was three quarters of an hour later when the second caravel and her accompanying warship were sighted off the Hook.
At midnight all three boats, the Santa Maria, the Pinta and the Nina were anchored safely in the lower bay.
At noon today the original flag carried by Capt. Paul Jones on the frigate Bon Homme Richard in her fight with the English frigate Serapis was raised with appropriate ceremonies at the Navasink lighthouse as the fleet began to come into view off to the south.
The Miantonomoh fired a salute of 21 guns, and the gun detachment of the National Guard of New Jersey fired a return salute.
The official programme for tomorrow is as follows:
10 a. m. Ceremonies at Battery Park incident to the unveiling o the Ericcson statue.
11 a. m. The warships will begin moving up the bay to go into the North river anchorage for the review next day. They will be preceded by the three caravels and will keep their present positions in the line, the Philadelphia and its line on the Jersey side, the foreigners on the right or starboard. When at anchor the double column will extend from Thirty-fourth street to One Hundred and Second street.
8 P. M. Arrival of President Cleveland, his Cabinet, Supreme Judges and other Federal dignataries. Headquarters will be at the Victoria Hotel.
9 p. m. The Union League Club will entertain the Duke of Veragua at dinner at the club.
The Columbus Commemorative Half Dollar Coin shows with an image of one of the facsimile ships, the Santa Maria, circa 1893.