“In fourteen hundred ninety-two/ Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
“He had three ships and left from Spain/ He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.”
— Source Unknown
Time was when sailor Christopher Columbus unequivocally “discovered” America, but that was before the debate about his legacy recast him in school history books as the Italian explorer who, more accurately, raised and solidified European awareness of the Americas after arriving Oct. 12, 1492, in what would become known as the Bahamas.
In short, Columbus wasn’t the first European to reach the Americas. But he made the most of it, for better or worse. And that’s where the Columbus Day debate continues, including periodic calls to dump the holiday, or modify it to something like “Exploration Day.”