For those overcome with Columbus Day spirit--and, really, who among us isn't?--here's a wonderful piece from our archive. It's by Simon Schama, and it's called "They All Laughed at Christopher Columbus." It's worth your time.
I Excuse me for noticing, but haven't we been commemorating Columbus's quincentennial in the wrong year? I know that dates and math aren't America's strong suit right now, but it doesn't take advanced calculus to figure that 1492 plus 500 equals 1992. What is it about Columbus that makes for botched commemoration? The Quatercentennial Columbian Exposition opened a year late, in 1893, delayed by the enormous scale of the show and by the protesting groups (yes, even then) who saw themselves more as victims than as beneficiaries of 1492.