In America, Columbus Day is a time for millions of Italians to celebrate their illustrious heritage.
In one of the more fortuitous mistakes in history, as everyone knows, Columbus talked Queen Isabella of Spain into allowing him to traverse the great ocean trying to reach Japan — unaware that America, as it became known, even existed.
Even upon his death of a heart attack at age 54, Columbus believed that he had discovered a shortcut to the spice trails of the Indies. For his part, Columbus felt he was spreading Christianity and thus had an enormous impact on the historical development of the Western world as we know it.
Columbus Day 2011 here in New York continues to be a celebration of Italian heritage. There is a long notable list of Italian immigrants whose contributions, not only in New York but America and the World, are legend. Fiorello LaGuardia and Rudolph Guiliani are two contemporary figures whose Italian heritage is well known. Cartoonist Joseph Barbara, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, number among other Italian artists, business people, journalists and Medal of Honor Recipients who have influenced our world for the better.
Columbus Gets the Boot
Columbus’ relationship with the Spanish Crown was not good and he was eventually arrested and ousted as governor of the world he had discovered. His efforts ended in lawsuits brought by his family and heirs against the Spanish throne which went on for many years.
Nonetheless, amid closed post offices, government offices and banks, Columbus Day celebrations continue with food, festivities and remembrance.
The people of this boot-shape country have been established in history as one of the greatest in the waves of immigrants among the Irish, French, Swedish, African, Korean, Indian, Russian, Egyptian, Iranian and others, who have made the United States of America great.