Everyone knows Columbus didn’t discover America…

…so WHY are we still celebrating Columbus Day here in the good old US of A?

I just don’t get it.

It wasn't Columbus who discovered America

Everyone in this modern era knows it’s a myth.  Everyone knows that the Native Americans discovered this continent.  They lived here for years and years and years.  (OK, I will concede that perhaps someone may have discovered America before the Native Americans.  Maybe some prehistoric people we’ll someday call the Native Native Americans.  But until then…can we have the common sense to quit celebrating some 15th century white guy from Italy via Spain who just happened to sail some ships across the Atlantic and arrogantly claim–can you imagine?–claim this occupied land for an adventuresome king and queen?)

Let's just sail up to a new sandbar and claim it for ourselves

I mean how would modern-day Americans feel if someone from some foreign country–OK, let’s not point fingers–let’s say someone from Jupiter landed in Detroit and insisted that he just “discovered” America?

How would we feel?  We’d surely say–hey!  What are you talking about?  WE’VE been living here for centuries!  (But, no, the Jupiter-fella or lady would look around at our violence and war and negativity and gasp politely into their space suits–Look what savages they are!  So uncivilized…)

Let’s forget all about Jupiter for a moment.  Let’s even forget about the already-populated North America in 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  Let’s ask the question.  Was Columbus the first non-native guy to “discover” this fair land?

Bet the Vikings visited here before 1492. Want to bet?

Heck, no!  There were boatloads of settlers landing on the Eastern Coast, settling on the Western Coast and crossing the Bering Straights.  We’ve all heard Viking stories, haven’t we?  They explored the northeast coast almost 500 years before Christopher sailed on the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. 

Ask these children: Who discovered America?

So how come we’re still celebrating Columbus Day every year in October?  How come countless school children are repeating this flagrant untruth year after year? 

Can this holiday disappear by 2011?  Please?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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25 Responses to Everyone knows Columbus didn’t discover America…

  1. elenasc says:

    I’m with you! Should we start a petition?

  2. Susan D says:

    It is possible that Columbus delivered syphillis to the Native American people, though. Now, that’s worth having the banks and post offices closed every year, isn’t it, so we can pause and remember?

  3. Emma says:

    If you haven’t seen this yet, you’ll want to:

    http://www.reconsidercolumbusday.org/

  4. Cindy Lou says:

    Hear! Hear! I’ve long thought it was silly!

    You say it so well and your pictures are beautimous today…I can’t even pick a favorite. I had that same problem with yesterday’s post, too – terrible problem to have! (she says with glee)

  5. Kathy – Len and I were having this VERY discussion today (our day off) during our bike ride up near the Wisconsin border. I’m so glad that you’ve proclaimed it to a much wider audience. You go, girl!

  6. Colleen says:

    Hi Kathy, this has been an interesting process. Each time I have tried to post this comment I have been closed out with error messages. Funny.
    Here goes, will try again.

    I have always had the same questions about this “holiday” but have been reluctant to bring up the subject as it seems to be a sensitive area….and we are only visitors (as such) here. But I do SO agree with your thoughts!!

  7. Aanii, great post. I think it is also important to site how Columbus is essentially the poster child and harbinger of the “Doctrine of Discovery” in the ‘Americas’ and how this doctrine effects natives legally today. It is still used as the justification of so much starting with Johnson v. McIntosh and the papal bull inter caetara all the way to Carcieri v. Salazar (2009). Take care.

  8. Dawn says:

    I work for a bank. And we were open. SO if I have to work…everybody has to work! 🙂

  9. LOL
    I did go to the Post Office!!!!Today, even I knew darn well they were closed! Dahhh

    I agree there were others here in America and Columbus is not anyhing to write home about!!

    Love the Native American Indian Photo.

  10. Karma says:

    But.. but… I like having a 3-day weekend in October! Can we celebrate something else on the 2nd weekend in October? 😉

  11. K Odell says:

    Besides the fact that Colombus was an ass who cut off people’s noses. I took time to educate my first grade class on friday- he was an explorer, but we’d consider him mean.
    I declined my invitation to the daughter’s of the american revolution because of stuff like this. I refuse to be superproud that I’m related to a dude off of the Mayflower. They killed indigenous people.
    BTW- this is why I call Thanksgiving Turkey day. That whole lie is as bad if not worse than Columbus.

  12. Carol says:

    If you go here
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-kasum/columbus-day-a-bad-idea_b_742708.html
    and read about some of the atrocities committed by Columbus and his men, whether or not he discovered America becomes a moot point. Should be be celebrating a man who demonstrated no concern for humanity?

  13. Christina says:

    Here in San Francisco today is an official holiday called “Indigenous People’s Day”–I think that the rest of this country needs to start adopting this and stop heroicizing Columbus.

  14. Kiah says:

    Who says Columbus Day is claiming that he was the first one to come to America? Can’t it just be celebrating a man’s life? Or perhaps it’s a holiday celebrating travel, adventure, a voyage. Perhaps it’s a holiday celebrating sailing!

    Or perhaps it’s not and perhaps he’s a horrible, evil man and we can choose not to participate (like everyone else other than the post office)!

  15. Elisa's Spot says:

    Hey! It was Thanks for Giving Day in Canada!!!

    Saaaaaaaave the Turkeys!

    How did you get those Jingle Dancers to allow you to have a picture of them?!?!

  16. Barbara says:

    I’m with you, Kathy!

  17. Robin says:

    I think we’re still celebrating it because people want the excuse for a day off from work. Otherwise, I see no other reason for it. I’m with you.

  18. Cloud says:

    I agree with you! I celebrated “Colombus Day” by watching Dances With Wolves! Wound up wishing that no one ever came to this country so the symbiotic beauty and partnership between the people, animals, plants and mother earth could have lived on.

  19. Kathy says:

    Thank you, everyone, for your comments and opinions! Sounds like most of you agreed, although one or two of you thought perhaps one could view this in a different light. (smile.) I am over this rant–until next October. See you then!

  20. truels says:

    I agree with your views on Columbus, as a Dane I could be tempted to choose “Viking Day”!! But “Indian Day” should probably be the correct name …

    • Kathy says:

      truels, I’ll bet you would choose Viking Day! lol… I did notice on our calendar that it says “Indiginous People Day” as Christina said up above. That may be the new way I look at it.

  21. Kathy says:

    By the way, Elisa, I got these wonderful photographs of the Ojibway dancers with the help of a Native American friend who actually went up to lots of people and asked, “Can my friend photograph you?” I am thinking of paying her next year. lol!

  22. lol says:

    i fucking hate that they teach us in class that columbus discovered america why are they teaching us that misleading shit

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