Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"The Day to Celebrate Learning and Exploration"

On October 12, 1492 the Italian seaman Christopher Columbus first stepped foot on the soil of the Americas, bringing with him European culture, goods, religion and practices.

This is what happened:

Ironically, Columbus did not plan on discovering a “New World”. He left Iberia hoping to arrive in the
Indies, a series of islands in South East Asia that Spain frequently traded with through long and expensive journeys on land. His goal was to find a quicker, water-based route instead.

So when he sailed west, he didn't land in the Indies, but rather he anchored in the Bahamas at a place he named “San Salvador”. When he came ashore on San Salvador, he mistook the native people for natives of India, calling them Indians (a misnomer which stands to this day). In fact, Columbus returned to the Americas three more times over the course of 12 years without knowing that he had arrived in an uncharted land, halfway around the globe from his intended destination!

Happy Columbus Day!

In the early morning fog, a replica of one of Christopher Columbus' ships, Nina, departs Maysville, Kentucky,
where it was on tour in November 2005.
The ship, which was built by The Columbus Foundation and launched in 1991,
continues to visit ports around the United States as a floating maritime museum and to participate in tall sail events.

Activities for kids:

Columbus Day is a great time to celebrate exploration as a family. For preschoolers, it can be as simple as learning about maps or treasure hunts and exploring the backyard in a new way. For grade-schoolers, they can set out on an imaginary voyage, complete with a pretend passport, world map and discover real – or imagined – places.


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