08 October 2018

Into The Ocean Blue...To Where?

In school, we were taught that Christopher Columbus "discovered" "America" on 12 October 1492.  

During my elementary school years, we got the day off on 12 October.  Then, around the time I was beginning adolescence, "Columbus Day" was moved to the second Monday of October.  So it is observed today.

As the story goes, he set sail for India. Instead, he landed somewhere between Port-au-Prince and Santo Domingo.  Thus, he didn't even make it to what we call America (i.e., the continent) today.

What I have never understood, though, is why we have a holiday for a guy who got lost.

And, as an Italian American, I don't know why he's a source of pride for us.  I mean, we have Michelangelo, Galileo, Leonardo, Raphael, Dante, Bocaccio, Cassini (OK, he turned French), Marconi and all sorts of other folks who distinguished themselves in every imaginable field.  Heck, we even have great fashion designers.  I'd rather have a day for Armani or even Versace--or, of course, any number of Italian cyclists.

All right, I'll shut up and go for a ride--and enjoy my lasagna afterward!


  1. I think that historians nowadays are pretty sure good ol' CC was't italian. What they aren't sure of is what he was. Last I heard the best guess is that he was catalan from Barcelona. He was probably a member of the prominent Colombo trading/seafaring family from that city, but who really knows.

  2. Phillip--I have long suspected that he wasn't actually Italian, but I couldn't say exactly why. The theory that he's Catalan sounds as good as any.

    Anon--Did he play Columbus? Other actors did; unfortunately, none of them (even Gerard Depardieu) were able to turn movies about Chris into artistic or financial successes.