Tobacco Comes To Spain
On this date in 1558, Spanish physician Francisco Fernandes introduced the smoking of tobacco in Spain. Fernandes first saw people smoking tobacco in Mexico, where King Philip II of Spain had sent him to discover what agricultural products the Mexicans were growing and using. In 1492, Christopher Columbus first saw tobacco in the New World when natives on San Salvador Island gave him gifts that included tobacco. Later, explorers Rodrigo de Jerez and Luis de Torres were reportedly the first to actually see tobacco smoking in action. They watched natives wrap dried tobacco plant leaves in either palm or maize, then light one end to drink the smoke through the other.
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