Truth Behind Holidays: Columbus Day Edition

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Columbus Day is a national holiday that we celebrate as a day that Christopher Columbus, also known as “Admiral of the Ocean Sea”, discovered America in 1492. Now I’m not a history buff, nor can I say I paid attention in every history class I sat in, but there are several misguided conceptions and lines that do not add up aboutChristopher Columbus, from him being the first European to discover America to him believing that this was the place he set sail for.

The voyage he embarked on was to discover a direct trade route from Europe to Asia, but however with miscalculated degrees of information, he unintentionally sailed towards the U.S. which led him to settle here and claim it for the Spanish crown. With him thinking that he had landed on the islands of the West Indies he called its inhabitants Indios (Spanish for Indians). Even though his voyages led to the first lasting European contact with America, he was not the first European explorer to reach the country being preceded by an expedition led by Leif Ericson. He never admitted that he had reached a continent previously unknown to Europeans, rather the Indies he set sail for.

History has shown that Christopher Columbus voyage to discover lands he embarked on were all most likely by default. Just as he “discovered” America he came across discovering the Bahamas on his first voyage in 1492 when he had set sail to reach Japan. It leads me to wonder why is it we celebrate this day for a man who was not the first to discover this land, or was not the first to settle here as the Native Americans were to do that, and then later were sold off as slaves. Furthermore, celebrating a day for a man who pretty much discovered America by accident, or misjudging distances and taking wrong turn after wrong turn. So instead of him having the title of “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” his title should be named “Whoudni of the Ocean Sea,” or “Thief of the Ocean Sea.”

So, basically we have marked on the calendar to celebrate a man who lied, stole, and took many wrong turns but by the grace of God, a lucky rabbit’s foot, and rub of a genie’s lamp found land not once, not twice, but three times. In other words, this day means you can go out with intentions on going to one place, but end up at another place get invited in by the people who already live there, and after they fix you a nice big meal reward them by introducing diseases to them and kicking them out, or selling them off for other things you may need or want all while claiming this in a name of a country that’s not even your birthplace.

I’m not a historian that could go back and change the course of things of what was written nor the reason why we celebrate this day marked on our calendar, but like they say “some people just have all the luck.”

Curl J. Louis
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Born in New Orleans, LA on 11/12/1983 (I'm an 80's baby). Served 8yrs in the Air Force Reserve served during Iraqi Freedom is currently a Warehouse Supervisor for Babies R US Attended Southern University (Go Jags) studied Business Marketing with minor n pre-law Interest: reading books from Eric Jerome Dickey to Sister Souljah,writing poetry n currently working on a poetry book called Predetermined Thoughts of the Mind, traveling to different parts of the word especially the islands, listening to music from Rap/R&B to Neo-Soul anything that intrigues the mind, spending much quality time with my daughter Akaiya, going out with friends enjoying the good life.

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