October 10, 2011

Happy Columbus Day!*

Let’s celebrate Native American Day!

…people have celebrated Columbus’ voyage since the colonial period. In 1792, New York City and other U.S. cities celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event. During the four hundredth anniversary, in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used Columbus Day rituals to teach ideals of patriotism…

We grew up on this: 1492, sailed the ocean blue.

…Columbus himself saw his accomplishments primarily in the light of the spreading of the Christian religion.[2] Never admitting that he had reached a continent previously unknown to Europeans, rather than the East Indies he had set out for, Columbus called the inhabitants of the lands he visited indios (Spanish for “Indians“)…

But…there’s another side to the amazing discovery, boldness and heroism we learned about.

Greed. Murder. Slavery. Rape. Theft. Millions dead from deliberately transmitted smallpox.

This is more like it. Let’s make Native American Day official!

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