Columbus Day, which is held annually on the second Monday of October, commemorates Christopher Columbus' discovery of America on 12 October 1492, although there are controversies on the claim that he was the first to 'discover' the continent.
Although, Columbus is often believed to be the first European to sail to the Americas, opinions – some based on scientific evidence – are divided on whether he should be portrayed as the 'discoverer' of the New World. Evidences have been cited in various occasions that the first Europeans to sail across the Atlantic were the Viking explorers from Scandinavia.
More importantly, the land already had an an established civilisation, populated by indigenous people, who had 'discovered' the so-called New World, thousands of years before the Vikings themselves.
Nonetheless, Columbus Day is recognises the contribution of Christopher Columbus in making the unexplored North American continent known to the rest of the world.
Here is a compilation of quotes on Columbus Day:
- "When we first broke into that forbidden box in the other dimension, we knew we had discovered something as surprising and powerful as the New World when Columbus came stumbling onto it." – Ken Kesey, American Author.
- "In all parts of the Old World, as well as of the New, it was evident that Columbus had kindled a fire in every mariner's heart. That was the harbinger of a new era, for it was not to be extinguished." – Charles Kendall Adams, American educator and historian.
- "Every ship that comes to America got its chart from Columbus." – Ralph Waldo
Emerson, American essayist.
- "One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." – Andre Gide, French author.
- "Columbus had all the spirit of a crusader, and, at the same time, the investigating nature of a modern man of science." – Edmund Arthur Helps, English Writer.
- "Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected." – Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet.
- "Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honoured by posterity because he was the last to discover America." – James Joyce, Irish novelist and poet.
- "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans." – Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist.
- "When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the while man came, an Indian said simply, 'Ours'." – Vine Deloria Jr, American Indian author.
- "America's one of the finest countries anyone ever stole." – Bobcat Goldthwait, American actor and comedian.