Columbus Day Debates Reflect Cultural Diversity (Great Events from History II: Arts and Culture Series)
Article abstract: The five hundredth anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to America was celebrated and condemned as scholars, educators, ethnic groups, and the public attempted to interpret the world-altering events of 1492 with historical objectivity and multicultural sensitivity.
Summary of Event
On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus stepped off his ship and onto an island in the Caribbean. This encounter between Europe and the Americas launched a chain of events that literally remade the world. October 12, 1992, marked the five hundredth anniversary, or quincentennial, of Columbus’ landing. The event was commemorated with speeches, parades, protests, and mourning; Columbus was both praised and vilified.
Continuing tradition, many cities in the United States held parades, mock landings, and fireworks displays. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., sponsored the “Seeds of Change” exhibit, focusing on five “seeds” that had been critical to the evolution of the New World: sugar, corn, the potato, the horse, and disease. In New York City, the New-York Historical Society held an exhibit of European art depicting the New World as seen by the Old. The Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum told the story of Columbus and other early explorers through displays and reenactments.
Perhaps the most ambitious of the Columbus-related exhibitions was...
(The entire section is 2311 words.)
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