Back then, the Ocean indeed was bluer than it is now. Oil spills and other man-made disturbances were virtually non-existent. If things did happen, they weren't recorded till after the onslaught of Gutenberg's Printing Press circa 1555 - a short time thereafter.
Sailing (from Genoa, Italy to The Americas) was a bit more treacherous as the Modern Devices of coursing the Weather was not activated. Food Preservation was not up to parr; Refrigeration had of yet to be invented. Then you had those sinistry Pirates (Hoodlums of the High Seas) who were main-streaming the ocean-ways as well in search of Loot & Bounty. It may have been safer to be boat-side than on-land as terrible outbreaks of Disease -- like the Black Death - or Black Plague was pandemic at that time, killing some 75,000,000 People. This is between 30-60% of Europe's Population. It would not have done you any good in the Old World if you were a foreigners, beggars or leper - as these were the first ones to be persecuted during the time of the Black Plague. It was like a Modern Day (1600-1700) Witch Hunt if we are to label their Situation.
Was Columbus a Hero or merely someone trying to save their skin from the unsavory Diseases as Bubonic Plague and Viruses that terrorized his unhealthy domain? No matter how Chris is remembered, he is immortalized and the Story has a happy Ending: 2008 is here. Like Columbus, We are Survivors.
Moreover, if it wasn't for those Historical Greats beating The Odds and setting their Sights on a new Course of Adventure, you would not be here reading this Blog. I would not be sitting here typing it up.
Columbus does deserve a Day...
And, so do cunning Merchandisers who see this as a Way to make $ from a flailing Economy. From Friday through Monday, massive Sales are underway commemorating Columbus Day. And to follow suit with Wikipedia:
"The uncertainty of daily survival created a general mood of morbidity, influencing people to 'live for the moment.'"
Amen. Some things never change. A case in point. Therefore, it's necessary to shop till you drop, because We don't know when the other shoe will fall, much like We had following the 9-11 Incident.
2008 minus 1492 is calculated as the Hard Math of 516 Years...a long time in which to delve into the Mysteries of Life in Columbus' Day. Not much is known about The Man himself, but his Legacy is intertwined with High Adventures on the Open Seas. His biggest Triumphs may be all the Cities named after him, in his Honor and, of course, the October Event - COLUMBUS Day that happens every year, most often with floats, parades and governmental offices being closed.
2008 marks the 516TH Columbus Day Celebratory Holiday here in The States when he arrived in America aboard the 3 Ships that we are all taught to memorize in Grade School: The Nina - the Pinta and the Santa Maria. According to Wikipedia, my online Source for Filling-In-The-Blanks (of my Memory from Grade School History Courses):
Christopher Columbus, a native of Genoa, donated one-tenth of his income from the discovery of the Americas for Spain to the Bank of San Giorgio in Genoa for the relief of taxation on foods.
My! Wasn't that generous of him; one point we never think of when we realize that Generosity knows no Time slots.
According to Wikipedia:
OBSERVING COLUMBUS DAY IN THE USA:
The first Columbus Day Celebration was held in 1792, when New York City celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event.
Some Italian-Americans observe Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage, the first occasion being in New York City on October 12, 1866. Columbus Day was popularized as a holiday in the United States by a lawyer, a son of Genoese immigrants who came to California. During the 1850s, Genoese immigrants settled and built ranches along the Sierra Nevada foothills. As the gold ran out, these skilled "Cal-Italians", from the Apennines, were able to prosper as self-sufficient farmers in the Mediterranean climate of Northern California. San Francisco has the second oldest Columbus Day celebration, with Italians having commemorated it there since 1869.
This lawyer then moved to Colorado, which had a population of Genoese miners, and where, in 1907, the first state-wide celebration was held. In 1934, at the behest of the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic fraternal service organization named for the voyager), Congress and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set aside Columbus Day, October 12, as a Federal holiday (36 USC 107, ch. 184, 48 Stat. 657).
Since 1971, the holiday has been commemorated in the U.S. on the second Monday in October, the same day as Thanksgiving in neighboring Canada. It is generally observed today by banks, the bond market, the U.S. Postal Service and other federal agencies, most state government offices, and many school districts; however, most businesses and stock exchanges remain open.DOING MY PART: THE OFFICIAL EVENTOLOGICAL PROCLAMATION
Following suit as:
President Benjamin Harrison had in1892 when he called upon the People of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event,
I as 'America's Premier Eventologist, so declare that We (as the People of the United States of America) should celebrate the 600TH Anniversary of Chris' Landing on:
October 13, in 2092 (the 2nd Monday of October).
By that time, our Eco-Woes will be gone and our Off-Spring will be looking forward to a New Century on the near Horizon. Different from today, but so-the-same in so many Instances. It's not too late to begin the Planning now.
And to you and yours: Happy Columbus Day. After all:
WWCS: What Would Columbus Say? Full Speed ahead - Go Shopping!
ASK: Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith
'America's Premier Eventologist'
'The Premier Eventologist in the History of The World'
Chicago, Illinois USA
Posted: Sunday, October 12, 2008 - 4:06 PM CST