On 3 August, 1492, the Genoan explorer, Christopher Columbus, left port in Europe on a voyage of discovery underwritten by the great Spanish Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella. On October 12, 1492, Columbus landed his ships on an island in the Bahamas. We celebrate a day in his honor on the second Monday in October.
Columbus set the stage for the colonization of the Americas and, ultimately, the birth of our nation. Indians up and down the Americas are still not too happy about any of that, but the one brutal lesson of history is that if you cannot defend your land, it will be taken from you. Indeed, that is a lesson the Indians themselves well knew, having engaged in vicious tribal warfare of their own in both halves of the Americas. Thus their modern complaints against Columbus are largely a deeply hypocritical cry that they lost. For the post-modern self hating multi-culti occidental lefties who join in the calls to write Columbus from our celebratory history, their complaint is that Columbus succeeded, which makes us Evil. It is an unsupportable view of history taken out of the context of the times. Both can go pound sand.
So here's to Christopher Columbus:
In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.
He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.
A compass also helped him know
How to find the way to go.
Ninety sailors were on board;
Some men worked while others snored.
Then the workers went to sleep;
And others watched the ocean deep.
Day after day they looked for land;
They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.
October 12 their dream came true,
You never saw a happier crew!
"Indians! Indians!" Columbus cried;
His heart was filled with joyful pride.
But "India" the land was not;
It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.
The Arakawa natives were very nice;
They gave the sailors food and spice.
Columbus sailed on to find some gold
To bring back home, as he'd been told.
He made the trip again and again,
Trading gold to bring to Spain.
The first American? No, not quite.
But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.
Update: Instapundit has a good post on Columbus, addressing the "the simplistic anti-occidental prejudice." I agree with all of it but for Walter Russel Mead's characterization of Ferdinand and Isabella as "a deeply regrettable couple who were notorious oath breakers, inquisitors and anti-Semites." That is as bad and unfair a characterization of the Spanish royal couple as is the modern leftist characterization of Columbus. Ferdinand and Isabella drove Muslim conquerors out of their last Western European stronghold, united modern Spain, and financed the expedition that led to the "discovery of the New World." They were as imperfect as any rulers of their day, but their achievements did much to shape the modern world.Tweet