Columbus Day has been a U.S. holiday since 1937, but some of the "facts" about Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America have largely been dispelled. Here are a few that you may not know:

  • In 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, most educated Europeans already knew that the Earth was round. What they didn't know was that the Pacific Ocean existed. They thought that the Atlantic Ocean was the only stretch of water to the west between them and the East Indies. (via History)
  • Christopher Columbus did not discover America. Nearly five hundred years before him, Leif Eriksson, a Norse explorer, traveled to America from Greenland (which he founded) around the year 1000. (via History)
  • While it is generally assumed that Christopher Columbus landed on the mainland of North America, he actually landed in the Bahamas.

A lot of terrible things resulted in Columbus' landing in the Bahamas, and many native people died because Columbus ordered them to be killed for sport and then fed to their dogs, all because he wanted the gold and riches that the land had to offer. He savagely cut off hands and ears and noses of these Native people, whatever it took to get what he wanted. The Native people who didn't die at the hands of Columbus' people, died from the diseases that they brought with them. It is estimated that within the fifty years following Columbus' first voyage to the Bahamas, more than three million Natives died from disease and starvation. (via The Oatmeal)

Such a terrible man who murdered millions of people, who didn't actually discover America or discover that the world was round, has a U.S. national holiday. That puts him on the same pedestal as Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Jr. Think about it.

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