It's Columbus Day in the USA, which commerates the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, Admiral of the Ocean Sea (1451-1506). Americans are still allowed to remember Columbus, if they choose, but fear not, Columbus Day will disappear, or go the way of Washington's Birthday (folded into generic, anonymous, obnoxious "President's Day"), soon enough.
The great sailor's role in the American story was perhaps small, but certainly decisive. Legions of the politically correct despise the memory of Columbus, his voyages and his culture, never mind that many of them walk the streets spouting their nonsense only because the Admiral found San Salvador on 12 October 1492 (although it was clear he was near land on the 11th). The fact that so many of these people dislike him so much is enough reason to think he must have been quite a fellow.
Born in Calvi, Corsica, he was probably the most distinguished native of that island save Napoléon I. Son of a weaver, and already a distinguished sailor when he began his American voyage, he hoped to find a practicable route to India, but found a new world instead – and his discovery changed everything.
The European discovery of America was the biggest event in western civilization since the fall of Rome, and changed the whole world. The future existence of the United States was only one consequence of his voyages. His voyages were made in barely seaworthy leaky vessels, with abominable food and mutinous crews.
After his initial voyage to America, he made three further trips to these shores, dying two years after the return from his fourth voyage. The authorities still argue whether he is buried in Seville (Spain), or in Santo Domingo. Thank you Admiral !