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Columbus Day

Posted by on Oct. 12, 2013 at 8:29 AM
  • 7 Replies
1 mom liked this

This has turned into controversial holiday. But the most common things taught to kids - 

1) Columbus was a brave adventurer who proved the earth was round,

and

2) he discovered the new world,

aren't true statements. This link is a great explanation of these, it's slightly irreverent, but fun.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/columbus_day

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Albert Einstein -- 
   "Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid." 

by on Oct. 12, 2013 at 8:29 AM
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Replies (1-7):
mem82
by Platinum Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 12:26 PM
1 mom liked this

I just teach about his voyage and the impact it had on the world. Whether or not he was a nice man isn't really relevant to what he did. We talk a lot about the political climate of the time and also how Europeans affected the people in the Americas. We don't over think it. LOL

TidewaterClan
by on Oct. 12, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Unfortunately the people who made a huge impact on world history weren't always the nicest.

We discuss the journey & discovery without turning Columbus into a wonderfully moral man.
kirbymom
by Sonja on Oct. 12, 2013 at 1:22 PM
We don't celebrate the day at all. However, I do teach my kids that it is said that Columbus was the first to discover the America's. We also teach about Amerigo Vespucci and his role in discovering America. We even teach on the many countries fought over the control of the 'New World' before it became America.
MotoStar
by on Oct. 13, 2013 at 8:53 AM

I love that link and love the oatmeal.

My son is aware of his voyage and knows that he sailed the Atlantic. He doesn't know the other junk.

jen2150
by Silver Member on Oct. 13, 2013 at 9:51 AM

I highly recommend the book Lies my teacher told me.  It is very good.  I don't really celebrate columbus day.  I know he wasn't a nice guy but he wasn't that much different than those who came after them.  A lot of the higher class in Europe were bad according to our standards.  We also need remember slaves were everywhere around the world at that time.  People have not yet come to the conclusion that slavery was wrong.  The atrocities that occured in the Americas was the sheer number of slaves.  Columbus also wasn't around the Americas very long.  There were many that came after him that did committed many more wrongs against humanity.  I also know that Columbus did not discover America.  There were many voyages from Africa and other places that occured first.

NYCitymomx3
by Bronze Member on Oct. 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM

I'm still celebrating.  Bottom line is that Columbus brought 2 worlds together and that changed history.  Any "bad" things were pretty par for the course at that time (it was the Middle Ages, btw, rife with superstition).  We celebrate many things that have questionable origins (google some holidays and other people we hold in high regard).  Doesn't stop anyone from taking the day off, though.

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