Today is Columbus Day in the US. If you believe the now out-of-date history books about this Italian-American holiday it is that Columbus and his crew discovered America and should be celebrated.
Ironically, the Italians of his heritage didn’t believe Columbus’ scheme of reaching the Far East by sailing due west would work and didn’t finance his trip. The Spanish, on the other hand, under Isabella I of Castile did.
Columbus, did indeed make landfall in the America’s, in the Caribbean Islands and eventually in subsequent voyages reaching Central and South America. Contrary to the way the United States occasionally presents itself as America, he never did reach North America.
He was the first European navigator to reach the Caribbean but definitely not the first to reach the the Americas. There is documentation of the Norse, led by Leif Ericson, 500 years earlier. Similar claims of other Scandinavian sea-fairer’s temporary settlements along the North-Eastern Seaboard and possible Japanese exploration along the Western Seaboard exist pre-dating Columbus’ journeys.
Ironically, he did not believe he reached a new world, he insisted he was in the Far East and only one trip away from reaching his destination.
Columbus’ allegiances remained with Spain most of his life and his governorship facilitated the Spanish Colonization of the region which eventually led to the enslavement and murder of the indigenous people’s of the America’s.
If by discover you mean stumbled upon a region already known but not widely documented and by celebrated you mean looked upon in disgust for the atrocities he facilitated against an innocent people, than sure, we can make a mixtape for that…
Iron Maiden “Run to the Hills” from Piece of Mind
Anthrax “Indians” from Among the Living
Mastodon “Indian Theme” from Revenge Gets Ugly
Soundgarden “Into the Void” from Badmotorfinger B-sides
the Cult “Indian” from Ceremony
Testament “True Believer” from the Gathering