Columbus “Discovers” America But the Story is Clouded


Columbus Track to and from New World

Columbus Track to and from New World

The weather still looks great here for the next few days. The record high on Sunday is 86 set in 1954 and 1969. We got 86 on Saturday. Most likely we will at least tie that record, especially since the official records are now kept at the airport where the temperatures are always higher than at the NWS office. The records for about 30 years were kept at the NWS until a couple of years ago. Last year we had a huge number of 90 degree days and the warmest August on record by far…yet if they had not moved the official site, then the number of 90 degree days would have been almost cut in half and it would have only been the 6th warmest August on record. I’m sure that made it into the Global Warming report even though it was not apples to apples. It was data collected from two different sites….one of which is surrounded by concrete and airplanes.

Was Chris Really Bald Like In this Painting?

Was Chris Really Bald Like In this Painting?

Columbus Trek In the Islands

Columbus Trek In the Islands

On This Date In History: The banks will be closed on Monday but not because of some crisis. It’s due to Columbus Day. On this date in 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in the New World after leaving Spain in early August. That much is certain. Other parts of the Columbus story are a bit muddled. He landed on a small island in the Bahamas. Then he landed in Cuba and then in Haiti. That much is pretty consistent throughout the historiography. Where you get into trouble is with Martin Alonso Pinzon who was the captain and owner of the Pinta. Pinzon got separated from Columbus after Cuba. One account says that Pinzon told Columbus that it was due to bad weather. Most accounts suggest that he was looking for a legendary island that was supposed to be full of gold. Columbus sets sail and comes to Haiti. Columbus named the island Le Espanola and later it got changed to HIspaniola.

The Santa Maria ran aground on December 25 and foundered. Some accounts say that Pinzon returned with

Martin Alonzo Pinzon-Failed Schemer?

Martin Alonzo Pinzon-Failed Schemer?

the Pinta after that and that Columbus wasn’t too mad at him for wandering off since he returned with the ship. Other accounts say that Pinzon had already discovered Haiti and a river was named after him. Some accounts claim that Columbus deliberately ran his ship aground. Some accounts claim that Columbus left 39 men behind because there wasn’t room on the Nina and Pinta for the entire crew. Another source says Chris left the guys behind as emissaries. The Pinta and Nina both set sail for Spain on January 16. One source claims that the two ships were separated by a Hurricane, which seems unlikely given the time of year. Another says it was simply bad weather and others say that Pinzon deliberately separated from Columbus in hopes of reaching Spain first and claiming victory for himself. Still, another account says nothing about the ships separating and says they both ended up in Lisbon, Portugal on March 4, 1893.

Of the accounts that suggest the pair were split up, one says that Pinzon was denied an audience with the King as the King would only see Columbus. Others claim that Columbus got to the King before Pinzon had a chance. So many questions. One thing to consider though is that while Columbus got the credit, his trip was seen by many as a failure since he had not found a route to Asia, he had not found a bunch of gold and he had lost one of his ships. But Columbus thought that finding a bunch of natives was a good thing because it could mean a booming slave business, that is until the Queen forbade such practices in the New World. If you think about it, the Spanish were always looking for Gold and didn’t see the value in many new lands unless it had gold. They ran around conquering people and taking their gold. The English though tended to inhabit and develop the land and its resources. The British empire lasted much longer than that of Spain, who just wanted to take the money and run. Even to this day, except for the small portions of the US that were briefly held by the Spanish, countries in the 20th Century that have Spanish as its main language are generally not considered to be developed or prosperous…perhaps because the Spaniards were more into taking than developing.

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