Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving!

Once again, we've rolled around to Columbus Day--the U.S. federal holiday that celebrates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World in 1492.

When I was in elementary school we were taught that on this day Columbus discovered America. That's just not true. The Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria landed in what are now the Bahamas.

We now know that America had already been discovered but was largely unknown in Europe. Christopher Columbus is the one who gets the credit today, because his trip launched the full-scale European colonization of the Americas. In fact, in many U.S. states, Columbus Day is protested by Native American groups, and perhaps rightly so.

On another note, today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Happy Thanksgiving to my northern neighbors!

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