Christopher Columbus (detail), from Alejo FernÃ¡ndez, La Virgen de los Navegantes, circa 1505 to 1536, AlcÃ¡zares Reales de Sevilla.
In his magisterial biography, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, 1942, Samuel Elliot Morrison observes:
[Christopher Columbus did] more to direct the course of history than any individual since Augustus Caesar. …
The voyage that took him to “The Indies” and home was no blind chance, but the creation of his own brain and soul, long studied, carefully planned, repeatedly urged on indifferent princes, and carried through by virtue of his courage, sea-knowledge and indomitable will. No later voyage could ever have such spectacular results, and Columbus’s fame would have been secure had he retired from the sea in 1493. Yet a lofty ambition to explore further, to organize the territories won for Castile, and to complete the circuit of the globe, sent him thrice more to America. These voyages, even more than the first, proved him to be the greatest navigator of his age, and enabled him to train the captains and pilots who were to display the banners of Spain off every American cape and island between Fifty North and Fifty South. The ease with which he dissipated the unknown terrors of the Ocean, the skill with which he found his way out and home, again and again, led thousands of men from every Western European nation into maritime adventure and exploration.
The whole history of the Americas stem from the Four Voyages of Columbus; and as the Greek city-states looked back to the deathless gods as their founders, so today a score of independent nations and dominions unite in homage to Christopher the stout-hearted son of Genoa, who carried Christian civilization across the Ocean Sea.
A score of independent nations and dominions, but not Seattle. Fox News:
The Seattle City Council is replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the city.
The resolution that passed unanimously Monday celebrates the contributions and culture of Native Americans and the indigenous community in Seattle on the second Monday in October, the same day as the federally recognized Columbus Day.
Tribal members and other supporters say the move recognizes the rich history of people who have inhabited the area for centuries.
“This action will allow us to bring into current present day our valuable and rich history, and it’s there for future generations to learn,” said Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation on the Olympic Peninsula, who is also president of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.
“Nobody discovered Seattle, Washington,” she said to a round of applause.