Christopher Columbus (Spanish: Cristobal Colón; 30 October 1451 – 20 May 1506) was an Italian explorer who accidentally discovered America, becoming the second white person to do so. The District of Columbia, the nation of Colombia, and the television show Colombo were all named in his honour. Ironically, the continent that he discovered was not named after him; rather, it is named after American Idol.
America before Columbus
Native Americans such as the Navajo, Black Foot, and Chicktaw had inhabited the land we now know as America for centuries, but they were lonely. These people had not seen a foreigner since the 10th century when the Norse came by for a visit but sadly left before the natives could really get to know them.
The native people also found themselves with far too much land and too many natural resources. Every winter, they would pack up their tents and move away from the region that they had inhabited for months, disgusted by its abundance and natural beauty. For many generations, they would solemnly wander about the continent with their families and some cattle, praying to finally find the small, gated environment of poor schools and classy casinos they had always searched for.
Saviour of the natives
On the evening of 3 August 1492, Columbus departed from Palos de la Frontera in search of India with three ships: the Santa María ex-Gallega, the Pinta, and the Santa Clara, who liked to be called Niña by her friends.
Columbus landed on an island in the Bahamas that the natives mistakenly called "Guanahani". As the first compassionate act on his trip, Columbus kindly corrected them, informing them that the island was actually called "San Salvador". Columbus showed great patience with the Salvadorians, writing to the Spanish King, Ferdinand, on October 14, 1492:
|“||They ought to make good and skilled servants, for they repeat very quickly whatever we say to them. I have even taught a few of the women to slowly dip... and when they are done to gently pump... yet, they do not stop, they proceed with great and fluid vigour, stroking... don't tell Isabella.||”|
Columbus managed to save ten to twenty-five natives from the harsh environment of San Salvador, taking them back to Europe with him. Interestingly enough, only seven or eight of the native Indians arrived in Spain alive, but they were overjoyed to find work in the city of Seville.
Following Columbus's death, many jealous men, who were in love with Ferdinand and envious of the attention Columbus had received from him, sought to tarnish his name. The worst among them was a man named Amerigo Vespucci, who went so far as to claim that Columbus had not even visited India. Vespucci spitefully had his adventures financed by King Manuel I of Portugal, the obvious rival of Spain. Not only this, but he sought only to explore SOUTH America, the obvious rival to Columbus's NORTH America, therefore making Vespucci a dick.