Thursday, November 29, 2012

So what that soon we will be in December. I am still trying to get over all the big deal they make over Columbus Day. Many states in the country don’t even celebrate it any more and each year they say that Columbus didn’t even discover America. Was it a good thing even coming to this land? Ask an American Indian if you can even find one. All I know is that there still is Columbus Circle near Broadway in Manhattan, N.Y.C.
In fact in Columbus Circle, tourists and city dwellers are rediscovering the statue that stands above it that ironically is a statue of Christopher Columbus which is 13 feet tall. Visitors must climb six flights of stairs to a 800 square foot deluxe apartment in the sky where he stands in the middle of an apartment room where there is a flat screen TV there and a great view of Central Park. Hey, when you take that holiday visit to Manhattan this year, why not go check him out? I know no Santa suit around but that might be refreshing too.
During the official holiday for Christopher, chances are that if you are a Federal employee or a school kid you will get a day off in honor of the guy. There are states like Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming yes almost half of the country are leaving celebrating a day off their calendar. No parade no days off to celebrate Columbus Day. Is it because there aren’t enough Italians there?
Does Columbus deserve his own holiday? With all the religions being worshiped in America should we be making such a big deal about Christmas? We know that Christopher Columbus didn’t even discover North America. He never even knew it existed and didn’t set foot here. In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in the Caribbean and thought he was in China. Thank God we have navigation apps on our phones now.
He wasn’t even the first person to discover the American continent from Europe. Leif Erickson made land fall in North America centuries earlier and historians from the Hispanic Society say there were plenty of explorers sailing the seas in the same time Columbus was sailing around. What about Americus Vespucci? Nobody can even say his name.
Columbus kept detailed diaries and we know that he was actually looking for china when he set sail. Even after 4 voyages, the sailors knew they were no where near China. Even though he did not want to admit he was very wrong, he was still a great navigator who was able to cross the Atlantic Ocean in 5 weeks. That is fast even by today’s standards and with almost no loss of life on board.
He introduced Europe to the potato, pineapple, the tomato and to the habit he learned from the American Indian of smoking tobacco. None of that is why he got a United States holiday. We got a holiday because a President discovered the Italian-American Vote. Columbus Day started in 1937 by President Roosevelt as a political move for a Federal holiday. He wanted to include the Italian vote into the Democratic Party.
Controversy over Columbus goes way back because of the bad stories of the way he treated Indians were horrific. Ferdinand and Queen Isabella back in Spain weren’t particularly known for their kindness to people either but they were appalled by what they heard. The American Indian men were even committing mass suicides because they felt helpless as to how much of their way of life was being destroyed.
Now, On Columbus Day, South Dakota celebrates native American Day. Some people even want to change it to Exploration Day. Well, I hope you enjoyed the day anyway if you even had it off. Most of you probably worked even harder because there were all kinds of Columbus Day sales. Imagine what can happen to Christmas Day if all the Jewish and Muslim people could ever band together to have that day destroyed too. Quiet ! Don’t give then any ideas. Besides, they hate each other so much they could never band together on any issue. Sigh! Happy Holidays Again.

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