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Who Discovered America?

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Who Discovered America? History is often a difficult subject to teach or understand. Students are expected to learn, memorize and "spit out" names, dates and important significances of historical moments dating back to the early centuries B.C.E. Sometimes students use the aid of a catchy rhyme to help them remember something important, such as: In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Though the rhyme gives no specific importance, it calls to mind the date that Columbus set sail from Spain, accidentally discovering America in the process. Ironically, Columbus was about 600 years late in discovering America. The Vikings had accidentally done so in the late tenth century (Holand 28-29). ...read more.


Another historical fact that refute Columbus's claim to the discovery of America is the Viking voyages of the "ninth to the twelfth century [centuries]," (Morison The European Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages 32), specifically the voyages of Bjarni Herjulfson. Though short lived, the Vikings had settlements in the northeast islands of North America, most notably, Greenland. Bjarni, according to his custom, spent every alternate winter with his father Herjulf. In the fall of 986 B.C.E. Bjarni docked in the coastal town of Eyrar, Iceland. Upon hearing his father inhabited Greenland for the winter (Holand 27-29), Bjarni left in search of his father. After spotting several lands west of Greenland, he finally arrived at his father's farm which "has been since called Herjulfsness" (Holand 29) ...read more.


Sadly, his predecessors receive no such credit to their names beyond a blurb in a text and maybe a small footnote in the bottom of an essay. List of Works Consulted Holand, Hjalmar R.. Explorations in America Before Columbus. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1956. Morison, Samuel Eliot. The European Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. Morison, Samuel Eliot. The Great Explorers: The European Discovery of America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. Tindall, George Brown. America: A Narrative History. vol 1. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1984. Wright, Louis B. and Fowler, Elaine W. eds. West and By North: North American Seen Through the Eyes of Its Seafaring Discoverers. New York: Delacorte Press, 1971. ...read more.

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