Monday, October 9, 2006

Columbus Day

Whether you believe it's possible for someone to "discover" a land that is already inhabited by other human beings (Native Americans), it is a fact that Christopher Columbus discovered one thing: and that is that the earth is round. And he made this discovery by landing somewhere in the Americas on October 12, 1492.

He is often credited with discovering America, though the name "America" stuck after German cartographer Martin Waldseemuller created a map in 1507 labelling the South American content "America," after Italian merchant, cartographer, and explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who discovered that the South American content extended much further south than was previously known by Europeans.

Christopher Columbus is often credited with discovering America, though prior to reaching the "New World," tools that appeared to have been crafted by hand were found floating in the ocean, and Native Americans already inhabited the continent "discovered" by Columbus.

Columbus is often credited with discovering America, although Nordic Vikings are known to have sailed up and down the coast of the Americas some 500 years before Columbus' historic voyage.

No matter what you believe, Christopher Columbus was among the first Europeans to land in the New World, and was the first to bring European culture to the Americas. His voyage proved his unpopular belief that the earth was not flat, and that one would not fall off the edge of the earth if one sailed far enough into the Atlantic ocean.

Today is Columbus Day. You don't have to believe the he "discovered" America to believe that he was a great explorer and a great contributor to making the world what it is today.


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