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On Monday, October 11, we remember the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, who in October 1492 landed in the Bahamas and became the first Western European to discover what the Europeans would call the New World.
When Columbus and his crew of approximately 200 sailors left Spain in three crowded ships – the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria – they set their sails toward an unknown horizon. They expected to discover a trade route to India. (Most Europeans at the time knew the earth was round – but they were unaware of the North and South American continents.) Instead of finding a route to Southeast Asia, Columbus and his crew landed on a continent of new opportunities. Columbus’s accidental discovery opened a permanent passage across the Atlantic and redrew the known map of the world.
For this reason alone, Columbus and his voyages are worthy of study and commemoration.
Unfortunately, there is a large and growing effort across the country to erase Columbus from history and demonize him and other European explorers who followed him. During the civil unrest and riots in the summer of 2020, public statues of Columbus across the nation were