Hey there, History Buffs!
Happy Columbus Day, Everybody! If you’re reading this Blog post you must be pretty smart, so I’ll just go ahead and assume that you already know all the basic stuff about Christopher Columbus—you know, “Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492” with the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria–not to mention, he most-likely took a footlocker or two with him on his travels.
But here are three things that I bet you didn’t know about Chris…
If That is his Real Name…
First of all, Christopher Columbus’ name is not actually Christopher Columbus. Actually no one knows what his real name really was. We call him Christopher Columbus after what we believe his original, Genoan name to be: Cristoforo Colombo. In Spain, his name is Cristóbal Colón. But the fact is, no one really knows what it was; one thing is for sure, though: his name was not Christopher Columbus.
Not Checking for Roundness
Contrary to popular belief, Christopher Columbus was not trying to prove that the earth was round. In fact, by 1492, most educated people knew that the world was a round spinning ball and not a flat disc, so there was no misnomer to correct. What Columbus was doing was looking for a shortcut to India. He thought that heading West might get you there quicker which is why he dubbed the Natives of the New World “Indians” when he first saw them.
Well, he didn’t do it himself exactly, but he put the cabin boy in charge of the flagship who crashed it. It was Christmas Eve of 1492 when the Santa Maria was beached on a coral reef around the northern coast of present-day Haiti. The wreck cost Columbus the ship itself along with 40 crewmembers who Columbus was forced to leave behind.
So, History Buffs, you can wish people a Happy Cristoforo Colombo Day today and spread these little known facts about the “discoverer of the Americas.”