Why Christopher Columbus Was the Perfect Icon for a New Nation Looking for a Hero

Oct 13, 2015 607

By Brian Handwerk

America's love affair with Christopher Columbus has been a rocky one. Some savor his day to celebrate Italian-American heritage, while others chafe at the impropriety of honoring a man who enslaved and killed thousands of native peoples.

But our ubiquitous statues and "Columbias" testify to how passionately most of the nation once embraced Columbus. And if the object of such ardor seems inappropriate in the modern world there's also ample evidence that the whole affair began rather badly—not with affection for Columbus himself but with a disdain for England and the desire for a uniquely American hero.

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Source: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/

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