Written by R. Todd Mangum
Monday, 13 October 2014 00:00
In the year fourteen and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
When I was in elementary school, we learned this ditty as an intro to how America started. We learned about the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria; about how brave Columbus and the sailors endured for months after thinking they were lost or would never see land again. When land was finally sighted, it represented discovery of the New World. They came in contact with some exotic aboriginal peoples with whom they traded and exchanged pleasantries, we supposed; they called them “Indians” because they thought they’d gone around the world and landed in India (or was it the Indies?). Anyway, that’s how America was discovered.
That’s the story as I heard it in elementary school. Turns out I didn’t get the whole story back then; and today the story is usually told quite differently – even in elementary school