Christopher Columbus had all kinds of trouble finding a crew to venture across the Atlantic. No one wanted to said into that sea of darkness. Somehow he scraped together ninety men.
When the tiny Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria finally set out, they passed an erupting volcano. The terrified sailors took the billowing smoke and flames as an evil omen. Columbus calmed their fears and persuaded them to sail on.
After several days the compass began to vacillate away from the North Star. The confused men fell into a panic, but their admiral convinced them to keep going.
The winds blew day after day to the west, pushing them across the sea. The crew began muttering. What if the winds always blew west? How could their ships ever sail back to Spain against them? They met thick stretches of green seaweed, which the men feared would entangle their rudders. Who knew what monsters lurked in these ocean forests? They cast dark scowls at Columbus.
Every so often someone cried, "Land!" But it was only low clouds hugging the horizon, a mirage of the sea. The crew plunged into despair. Columbus sailed on.
They saw birds overhead, which gave them hope. They tried to following their direction-but saw nothing. The sullen crew neared mutiny. There was talk of throwing the admiral into the sea and forcing the pilots to turn around. Columbus, refusing to flinch, willed his vessels on. Then came the dawn that raised an island from the swells. Columbus reached a New World. The day was October 12, 1492.
Christoper Columbus has been subjected to criticism in recent years, some deserved, some not. Regardless, today is a good day to honor the courage and perseverance that one conquered fear of the unknown.
(The American Patriot's Almanac)
Some criticism deserved? No kidding. Everyone is supposed to be an absolute perfect human being today. Good luck with that. I really like the American Patriot's Almanac articles, but have noticed a pattern that they desperately try to stay as "politically correct" as they can.....just like our school books of today.
And the criticism I've usually seen is that he "brought smallpox" and "other horrible diseases" to the utopian, perfect, healthy, kind and wonderful natives.
Oh, and I guess that he "acted like a conquerer"......showed too much power.
The negative moral would then be just plain don't do anything because if you are any kind of a leader, you will be thoroughly criticized for SOMETHING......so......if you do nothing, you're a lot safer in public opinion.
Besides all the difficulties Columbus endured through this venture, it is not even mentioned how he first had to convince Queen Isabella to finance him and this unknown trip. No easy task there, either. He must have been an amazing salesman to have been able to convince all "types" of people. In this same vein, it also is not mentioned that after landing, in the midst of unknown natives, he had to also "sell" them of that "power" mentioned above. He did it by his knowledge....he knew that an eclipse was imminent. Told them it was coming (and probably that he was making it happen?) and viola! Sure had their respect and trust then.
Hey, that was even better than Obama's promising to have the seas rise, eh what? And, you know....Columbus probably also "promised" hope and change. Only difference......real hope and change did come to America. Were the natives' lives improved? Ah, the rub. Could be debatable.....dependent on the status quo remaining for them and which choice would thrust the country into its future course. Technology has always moved countries in totally different directions from whence it sat, just as it is doing to us today.
Yvonne, I agree, I question some of the wording and thoughts in their descriptions of events. It is hoped it will start a conversation or discussion on these moments in history. As a homeschooling mom, I'm searching for accurate, no-politically-correct-slant-history resources for my kids.
I guess I don't understand why Christopher Columbus is supposed to be hated as an oppressor (though we must still have mattress sales in his honor), but it's judgemental to call out current day homicidal leaders and oppressors.
Yvonne, the kids and I watched this for part of our discussion. Thoughts?