Christopher Colombus

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During my formative years in kindergarten and elementary school I remember the nursery book rhyme taught to all of us children. "In fourteen-hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue." We had school plays that tried to recreate his intrepid ocean journey. I wasn't the best at remembering lines, so I played the part of the Pinta, one of Columbus' ships. As most school children are taught, we learned about how he was the first to discover the Americas, that he was a merchant looking for a trade route to India, that he was the first to prove the world was round, and that if it wasn't for him America as we know it would not be here. As I grew up, other historical facts started to tarnish the pristine image of Columbus. Leif Erickson of the Vikings was actually the first known European to see the shores of the Americas. In the fifteen hundreds, educated persons and seafarers commonly knew the world was round, as the curvature of the Earth could be seen on the ocean horizon. The merchandise he traded was slaves from Africa. Furthermore, millions of indigenous peoples had been flourishing for tens of thousands of years on the new continent. I don't think that they would say Columbus discovered the shores that they walked on everyday. If fact, they probably would have a few very choice comments about Columbus and his `discoveries.' Columbus' arrival in the new world marked the beginning of the end of life as it was known by the indigenous peoples. During the third day of his initial gold quest Columbus wrote in his log that, "with fifty men you could subject every one and make them do what you wished. Columbus immediately began capturing natives, believing that they would make fine servants and with the hope ... ... middle of paper ... ...ng the gaps between cultures. We honor those who have fallen fighting for America on Memorial Day. The second Monday of October could be used to honor and remember those that fell before America rather than honoring the man who fell them. Sources Berliner, Michael S., PhD. The Christopher Columbus Controversy. October 1999. http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?ServSessionldr006=u1jhty6ex1.app5a&page=NewsArticle&id=616 &news_iv_ctrl=1021 October 2004 Frazier, Wade. Columbus, The Original American Hero. http://home1.gte.net/res0k62m/colombus.htm 5 October 2004

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