Millions across the globe celebrate Columbus Day on the second Monday in October, although the actual date of his arrival on island that he named San Salvador was October 12. Most Americans are familiar with the limerick of history: “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” and of course, many can recite the names of the three ships of his maiden voyage: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.
Although he was generally viewed with admiration as daring explorer and navigator during the early years of American history, in the minds of many Americans Columbus has recently been thought of as a villain who took advantage of the natives he encountered and sold them into slavery. As a result of such thinking, Columbus Day is not always looked upon favorably. In fact some places no longer recognize Columbus Day. According to the New Haven Register, “Since 1990, South Dakota has celebrated the second Monday in October as Native American Day and in 1992, on the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage, Columbus Day ceased to be observed in Berkeley, Calif. Indigenous People's Day is now celebrated instead.”
Despite the less than favorable views of Columbus by many, others see the explorer as a man of faith, especially chosen by God to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to what was known as the “new world.” Click here to read an article discussing Columbus, as “a man with a mandate from God.”
The accompanying slide show reveals artistic rendering of the celebrated visionary and other related aspects of his life.