Today we remember the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, who in October 1492 landed in the Bahamas and became the first Western European to discover what the Europeans would call the New World.
When Columbus and his crew of approximately 200 sailors left Spain in three crowded ships – the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria – they set their sails toward an unknown horizon. They expected to discover a trade route to India. (Most Europeans at the time knew the earth was round – but they were unaware of the North and South American continents.) Instead of finding a route to Southeast Asia, Columbus and his crew landed on a continent of new opportunities. Columbus’s accidental discovery opened a permanent passage across the Atlantic and redrew the known map of the world.
Warren climbed the wide steps from Marlborough Street to the door of the Province House, the old mansion with its Tudor-style chimney stacks and ornate gables built a century ago by a wealthy Boston merchant. But for generations now it had been the residence of the royal governors of Massachusetts. For a moment he studied the large royal seal affixed over the door, a reminder of the awesome empire that the governor represented, then looked above it to the eight-sided cupola crowning the mansion, noting the weathervane at the very top shifting in the breeze.
Happy Independence Day! As America celebrates her 243th birthday, families and friends are coming together to enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers, patriotic fireworks, parades, and generally speaking, all things patriotic. In America’s early days, however, such was not the case. A long-standing argument brewed among the Founders as to which…