How Columbus Sailed Into U.S. History, Thanks To Italians

Oct 18, 2013 824

By Lakshmi Gandhi

It's been 521 years since the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus "sailed the ocean blue/in fourteen hundred and ninety-two." Since then, there have been thousands of parades, speeches and statues commemorating Columbus, along with a critical rethinking of his life and legacy. But the question remains, how did a man who never set foot on North America get a federal holiday in his name? While Columbus did arrive in the "New World" when he cast anchor in the Bahamas, he never made it to the United States.

This is in contrast to Juan Ponce de Leon (who arrived in Florida in 1513), Alonso Alvarez de Pineda (whose ships arrived in what's now known as Corpus Christi Bay in Texas in 1519) and fellow Italian Giovanni da Verrazzano, who reached New York Harbor in 1524.

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Source: http://wamu.org/

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