Who discovered America? Wait, what?


No kids, not Columbus. Why is this still misunderstood to this day?

The second Monday of October [the 12th is the actual day] commemerates the first encounters of Europe and Native Americans. Do you see anything about the discovery of America in the previous sentence? Nope, your’re right.

Lesson 1 :: Columbus Day is a holiday celebrated in many countries in the Americas, commemorating the date of Christopher Columbus‘s arrival in the New World on October 12, 1492. Similar holidays, celebrated as Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in many countries in Latin America, Discovery Day in the Bahamas, Hispanic Day in Spain, and the newly-renamed (as of 2002) Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) in Venezuela, commemorate the same event.

Lesson 2 :: The modern-day legend of Christopher Columbus and the discovery of America is due to Washington Irving. His “biography” of Columbus, a dramatic and embellished account, was so popular it became accepted as fact. Historically, Columbus was not the first to discover America, nor was he the first European to land at America, though he was the first European to successfully bring European culture to the Americas.

Lesson 3 :: The origin of the name

Theory AAmerica appears on Martin Waldseemuller’s map Cosmographiae Introductio, 1507. The name is to said to have derived from the Latinized version of the explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

Theory BAmerica derives from the district of Amerrique in Nicaragua. The gold-rich district of Amerrique was purportedly visited by both Vespucci and Columbus, for whom the name became synonymous with gold. [argued by Jules Marcou and Jan Carew]
Theory CAmerica is derived from Richard Amerike, a merchant from Bristol, who is believed to have financed John Cabot‘s voyage of discovery from England to Newfoundland in 1497 as found in some documents from Westminster Abbey a few decades ago. [proposed by Alfred Hudd]

So why do businesses close on Columbus day again? Just wondering.


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