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Columbus Day Thoughts
updated: Oct 14, 2013, 4:40 PM
By the Dedicated Staff
Today is a National holiday honoring Christopher Columbus, as the classroom rhyme goes, "Christopher Columbus sailed the
ocean blue and discovered America in 1492." However, most businesses remain open
and school is still in session. Some may view the holiday as controversial and we thought it
might be best to present the facts and have Edhatters decide for themselves.
*CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS FACTS:
Columbus Day became a federal holiday in the United States in 1937. Although Hawaii, Alaska,
Oregon, and South Dakota are U.S. states that do not recognize Columbus Day at all.
Columbus introduced wheat, barley, rye, sugar, bananas, citrus fruits and horses to the "New
He was an Italian-born explorer backed by the Spanish monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen
Isabella after being rejected by Italy and Portugal.
Columbus intended to chart a western sea route to China, India and the fabled gold and spice
islands of Asia; instead, he landed in the Bahamas, becoming the first European to explore the Americas
since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland during the 10th century.
On his famous 1492 voyage, Columbus had promised a reward of gold to whoever saw land first. A
sailor named Rodrigo de Triana was the first to see land on October 12, 1492. Poor Rodrigo never got
the reward however: Columbus kept it for himself, telling everyone he had seen a hazy sort of light the
night before. He had not spoken up because the light was indistinct.
Columbus sighted Cuba and believed it was mainland China. He established Spain's first colony,
returned to Spain bearing gold, spices and "Indian" captives.
On his 1492 voyage, his flagship the Santa Maria ran aground and sank, causing him to leave 39
men behind at a settlement named La Navidad.
The King and Queen of Spain made Columbus governor in the newly-established settlement of
Santo Domingo. Columbus and his brothers ruled the settlement like kings, taking most of the profits
for themselves and antagonizing the other settlers. It got so bad that the Spanish crown sent a new
governor and Columbus was arrested and sent back to Spain in chains.
Though he did not really "discover" the New World--millions of people already lived there--his
journeys marked the beginning of centuries of trans-Atlantic conquest and colonization.
What do Edhatters think about Columbus Day?
And this just made us laugh.
*Facts were sourced from www.history.com
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