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PBS will be airing a documentary on Wednesday July 21st based on Gavin Menzies’ book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World (available from Amazon US/UK). The documentary investigates the theory that a Chinese admiral reached America 71 years before Columbus:

The documentary examines the mystery surrounding China’s legendary Zheng He and the spectacular Ming fleet of treasure junks he commanded in the early 15th century. The special provides a history of the known journeys of Zheng He’s fleet and an account of new information uncovered by Gavin Menzies, a former British submarine commander who has spent nine years trying to prove that Zheng He reached America decades before Columbus.

More information is available at the PBS website.