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Celebrate the World Before Columbus!

 

First landing of Columbus on the shores of the...

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Well, officially it’s Columbus Day in most of the world, but here it’s Armed Forces Day (no mention of Colón – don’t forget the accent, by the way).

So we thought we’d post a couple of ideas for Columbus-related material on the web, with particular emphasis on what happened before the man came along and stumbled across the “New World“.

First of all, the Digital History site maintained by the University of Houston has a comprehensive section on The World Before 1492,  including articles and tests on Chinese admiral and great explorer Zheng He, who made seven major expeditions between 1405 and 1433, several decades before Columbus.

Secondly, if you’ve ever wanted to know how the world might have been experienced before 1492, consider the thoughts of singer Suzanne Vega, who temporarily lost her sight in one eye and suddenly had a different (flatter) view of the world. She wrote the song “World Before Columbus” both with this in mind and as a love song for her young daughter.

World Before Columbus

CDNine Objects of Desire” – 1997

If your love were taken from me
Every color would be black and white
It would be as flat as the world before Columbus
That’s the day that I lose half my sight

If your life were taken from me
All the trees would freeze in this cold ground
It would be as cruel as the world before Columbus
Sail to the edge and I’d be there looking down

Those men who lust for land
And for riches strange and new
Who love those trinkets of desire
Oh they never will have you
And they’ll never know the gold
Or the copper in your hair
How could they weigh
the worth of you so rare

If your love were taken from me
Every light that’s bright would soon go dim
It would be as dark as the world before Columbus
Down the waterfall and I’d swim over the brim

Those men who lust for land
And for riches strange and new
Who love those trinkets of desire
Oh they will never have you
And they’ll never know the gold
Or the copper in your hair
How could they weigh
the worth of you so rare

Strange Random Columbus Quote:

I also hate those holidays that fall on a Monday where you don’t get mail, those fake holidays like Columbus Day.  What did Christopher Columbus do, discover America?  If he hadn’t, somebody else would have and we’d still be here.  Big deal.   –  John Waters

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