Filed under: Fact or Fiction?, Urban Legends, You Decide
Much as I appreciate a holiday in honor of Columbus, I’ve seen reports that he may be getting undeserved credit. So, who discovered America?
Annie in Montpelier
This is a subject steeped in considerable controversy.
There are those who contend that the real problem is, the whole thing is taught back-asswards. The truth of the matter is, as these contrarians see it, Native Americans discovered Europe. We’ll delve deeper into that matter in a bit, but first let’s have a look at some other contenders for the exploit attributed to Columbus.
It might be worth noting that boats without motors can be unpredictable vehicles. Over the vast expanse of human time, wouldn’t you suspect that a great many drifiting boats from afar inadvertently “discovered” America?
Further, there is the factor that might be called the macho double-dare. “Buddy, I’ll bet you ten conch shells and a bucket of whale blubber the world ain’t flat.” How many reckless young sailors set off to see what lay beyond the horizon?
And we can’t discount greed, the search for riches.
Lastly there is the incentive provided by barbaric hordes coming over the hill. How often in the violent history of mankind was it time to pack your shit and git, possibly sailing off for parts unknown?
The thing is, dang near everybody discovered America. A bit of research will reveal that, whatever your heritage, you can probably make a claim of relatedness to a discoverer of America. (more…)