Community Calendar

Community Artists Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

Seal Tour
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Westerly

All Ages Hike at The Westerly Land Trust's Wahaneeta Preserve
2 p.m. - 3 p.m. Westerly

"A Christmas Carol"
2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Westerly

The Festival of Lessons and Carols for Advent
5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Westerly

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Columbus was hardly the first to discover America

Not to rain on your parade ... literally ... but new facts have come out about good old Columbus, and none are too good. Every year we celebrate Columbus Day with a big parade for his discovering America. But did he? Was he even Italian and was he a good man?

New research has a totally different spin on him. Seems Columbus was probably Spanish or maybe even Portuguese, and he didn’t come from a poor, working-class family from Italy. His real name was Christoval Colon and his family was far from poor — probably very wealthy since he married a royal from Scotland who was a Sinclaire, and no poor person could have ever married someone of royalty.

He and his brother changed their names to Columbus because they wanted ships and funding to go discover new lands, and would have to get it from the king and queen of Spain. We all know he got his ships and sailed off.

But was he the first to get to America? Seems the Minoans were here around 3,200 B.C., mining copper during the Bronze Age on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, off what is now Michigan. It has been proven they were here and intermarried with many Native Americans, because a rare gene that they had has been found in several tribes. There would have been around 10,000 Minoans here mining the copper.

After that came the Vikings and probably the Celts and then the Knights Templar, who actually crossed this country after venturing up the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and then crossing by land. I believe that was in the 1360s. And let’s not forget the Native Americans were already here before all of them!

So, Columbus didn’t “discover” America. Nor was he a nice guy.

After leaving Spain and coming here, he headed for Hispaniola, where he overtook the friendly natives there, and took them as slaves to work the goldmines. Between disease and slavery, he reduced the number of natives from around three million to a few thousand.

Because of all the gold he brought to the king of Spain, he was never prosecuted for his actions, and today, we honor him for “discovering” our country. Oh, and by the way, his son was the first white man to capture and sell African slaves. Guess he learned it from the best.

Judith Sellins


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