Christopher Columbus does not deserve a holiday

Christopher Columbus is probably one of the best examples of history not letting the facts get in the way of a good story.  Very little of the traditional story is actually true.

First, he did sail from Spain in 1492 with the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. However, he did not reach America (or India for that matter). He landed in The Bahamas.  He named the island San Salvador regardless of the fact that the people already living there called it Guanahani. Today, it is not certain which specific island this was.

During this voyage Columbus also explored parts of present day Haiti and Cuba.

Columbus then headed back to Spain with a few "Indians" he kidnapped. Most of which died on the way.

In 1493 Columbus left Spain again with 17 ships and 1,200 people to start a colony. He jumped around a lot exploring and killing natives.  He remained in the basic area of Hispaniola and Cuba. But evidentially ended up in Jamaica.

"During his second voyage, Columbus and his men instituted a policy in Hispaniola which has been referred to by numerous historians as genocide. The native Taino people of the island were systematically enslaved and murdered. Hundreds were rounded up and shipped to Europe to be sold; many died en route. For the rest of the population, Columbus demanded that all Taino under his control should bring the Spaniards gold. Those who didn't were to have their hands cut off. Since there was, in fact, little gold to be had, the Taino fled, and the Spaniards hunted them down and killed them. The Taino tried to mount a resistance, but the Spanish weaponry was superior, and European diseases ravaged their population. In despair, the Taino engaged in mass suicide, even killing their own children to save them from the Spaniards. Within two years, half of what may have been 250,000 Taino were dead. The remainder were taken as slaves and set to work on plantations, where the mortality rate was very high. By 1550, 60 years after Columbus landed, only a few hundred Taino were left on their island. In another hundred years, perhaps only a handful remained." - excerpt from Wikipedia

In May 1498 Columbus left Spain for his third voyage. He sailed to the Portuguese island of Porto Santo, Cape Verde and the Canary Islands. He then landed on the south coast of Trinidad. He then explored some of the South American mainland around Venezula. He then stopped to check on his settlements in Hispaniola on his way back to Spain.

His fourth and final voyage in 1502 took him to back to Hispaniola and Jamaica and along the border of Central America including; Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

During this voyage Columbus was stranded in Jamaica for a year before being rescued and returning to Spain for good.

At no point did Columbus ever step foot on or come close to the mainland of North America. He was a kidnapping tyrant who committed genocide and sold people into slavery. Why do we celebrate Columbus day?

Just a side note; Leif Ericson was he first to reach America from Europe.

That's to say nothing of the fact that none of them "discovered" America- there were people already here!

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