Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Why we Celebrate Columbus Day

Here is my list of the most important events in world history for making modern civiiization possible.
  • Invention of mathematical proof. As shown in Euclid's Elements, 300 BC. Perfected in the early XX century.
  • Roman Empire converted to Christianity. 323 AD.
  • European discovery of America. 1492.
  • Discovery of Calculus and Mechanics. Newton's treatise published in 1687.
  • Electromagnetic theory. Maxwell's treatise published in 1873.
  • Invention of semiconductor transistor. 1947.
It is hard to imagine modern civilization with any of these things.

Pes. Joe Biden proclaimed:

President proclaim the second Monday of October of each year as “Columbus Day.” Today, let this day be one of reflection — on America’s spirit of exploration, on the courage and contributions of Italian Americans throughout the generations, on the dignity and resilience of Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities, and on the work that remains ahead of us to fulfill the promise of our Nation for all.
No, Columbus Day is not about any of those things. The holiday commemorates a voyage that made modern civilization possible.

If you want to honor Amerindians, here is a suggestion:

I have a better name for the holiday, which preserves the tradition of giving credit to a single man, in this case, an “indigenous person” named Opechancanough. He became chief of the Jamestown colony’s Indian neighbors when his older brother, Powhatan, died in 1618. Under Powhatan, whose favorite daughter had married an Englishman, there was an only sporadically violent peace.

Opechancanough was different. In 1622, he hatched a plot to exterminate every white man, woman, and child. By then, there were about 1,200 colonists, and many had Indian helpers and employees. On March 22, the Indians came to work with weapons hidden under their clothes, and rose up and massacred the whites. Fortunately for the colony, the main population at Jamestown got wind of the plot. Men kept weapons handy, and the Indians did not attack.

Even so, Opechancanough’s men managed to kill about 400 whites, or one-third of the colonists. ...

The slaughter began a year-long war with the Indians, but Opechancanough sued for peace, and whites and Indians slowly started mingling again. Amazingly, in 1644, Opechancanough ordered an identical sneak attack, and managed to kill between 400 and 500 English. This time, the colonists went on to kill so many Indians, including Opechancanough, that two years later, the Virginia General Assembly noted with satisfaction that the natives were “so routed and dispersed that they are no longer a nation, and we now suffer only from robbery by a few starved outlaws.”

Opechancanough was a patriot and freedom fighter, a defender of his people against the rapacious white man.

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