“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” the childhood rhyme goes. Although Italian mariner Christopher Columbus claimed he discovered America in the 15th century, plenty of other explorers already had touched down on the continents Native Americans and other indigenous peoples had lived on for millennia.
Writers, scientists and musicians have been commenting on Columbus’ so-called discovery ever since then. The following quotations were compiled with the aid of Brainy Quote, Good Reads and Quote Garden:
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1) “Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected.” — Oscar Wilde
2) “Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by posterity because he was the last to discover America.” — James Joyce
3) “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
4) “Every ship that comes to America got its chart from Columbus.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
5) “When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came, an Indian said simply, ‘Ours.’” — Vine Deloria Jr.
6) “If Columbus had an advisory committee, he would probably still be at the dock.” — Arthur Goldberg
7) “America’s one of the finest countries anyone ever stole.” — Bobcat Goldthwait
8) “It’s like, how did Columbus discover America when the Indians were already here? What kind of s— is that, but white people’s s—?” — Miles Davis, “Miles: The Autobiography”
9) “Columbus’ real achievement was managing to cross the ocean successfully in both directions. Though an accomplished enough mariner, he was not terribly good at a great deal else, especially geography, the skill that would seem most vital in an explorer.” — Bill Bryson, “At Home: A Short History of Private Life”
10) “America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.” — Oscar Wilde
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