Don't get me wrong, I really love the "3-day weekend" in mid October that I have come to associate with colorful leaves, cool morning walks and a bargain shopping trip of some sort. Yet, over the years I have started to feel more and more guilty over the hypocrisy of celebrating "Columbus Day." Back in the old days, when I was in school, we sang about CC, "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue"; however, today there is far greater acceptance that he did not "discover" America.
About 20,000 years ago, Native Americans came across a narrow land that connected Asia and North America at the time. By 1492, there were millions of people in the Americas. Then, about 1000 A.D., Vikings landed in Greenland and later traveled to North America. Leif Ericson is believed to have lead that exposition. And let's not forget Americus Vespucius, for whom our country is named who made maps of his travels to our part of the world several years before Columbus sailed to this hemisphere.
So, not you are wondering, why do we celebrate CC as a fashionably late arrival to the already burgeoning New World? I have more to say about this issue in Part II!