Today is Columbus Day, which marks what is arguably the first landing of a European in the “New World.” On October 12, 1492, an ambitious seaman sailed into the West Indies, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

The West Indies is a region of more than 7,000 islands, islets, reefs, and cays in the Caribbean Sea. When Columbus landed there, he mistakenly believed that he had reached the Indies, his intended destination. (The Indies was a term once used to refer to South and Southeast Asia. The name is derived from the Indus River. India’s naming follows a similar path.)

Columbus was born into a family of wool weavers in 1451 in Genoa, which is now a part of modern Italy. He was named Christoffa Corombo. (The Italian version of the name is Cristoforo Colombo.) The name that the explorer is called in the English language history books, Christopher Columbus, is the Anglicization of the Latin Christophous Columbus.

When he settled in Spain, he called himself Cristóbal Colón.

Some of the most popular Spanish surnames have fascinating meanings. Read about that here.


The Washington Post April 16, 1987 | Dianne Saenz Environmental educators who teach elementary school students are eligible for a Fairfax Audubon scholarship. Winners will attend a one-week session of the National Audubon Society’s summer ecology workshop near Greenwich, Conn.

The ecology workshop offers a variety of field experiences designed to enrich teaching on environmental matters. The Audubon Center is a 485-acre wildlife sanctuary with a variety of habitats.

There will be five workshop sessions beginning the week of July 12 and continuing through Aug. 15.

Applicants should submit a brief summary of their teaching experience and a statement of how participation in the Summer Ecology Workshop will enhance their teaching. The deadline for application is April 30. For further information, call Sue Hu at 241-8859. Final auditions for “Vienna in Review” will be held 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. April 23 at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St. SE, Vienna. see here marshall high school

“Vienna in Review” will be a showcase for singers, dancers, musicians and other talented local residents, presented by the Greater Vienna Chamber of Commerce as part of its fourth annual town festival, “ViVa! Vienna! ’87.” For more information, call the Chamber office at 281-1333. The Arlington Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Resources is offering a four-day “Country Getaway” for area senior adults ages 55 and older to the Claggett Retreat Center in Buckeystown, Md. The June 9 through 12 holiday will feature supervised recreational activities such as tennis, swimming, bridge, exercise programs, crafts and parties.

Reservations are being taken at the Department’s Office of Senior Adult Programs at 300 N. Park Dr. The cost is $120 per person, which covers transportation, lodging and meals. For additional information, call 588-2672. Virginia Tech’s New Virginians will perform “The Greatest College Road Show in America,” a family-oriented variety show, on May 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. at Marshall High School. go to website marshall high school

To reserve tickets, call the school at 893-7400 or write to: TICKETS, Marshall High School, 7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Va. 22043. Proceeds will benefit choral and athletic departments at Marshall High School. For further information, call Eleanor McCann at 560-5674. “Loudoun County Circa 1787″ and “The Role of Loudoun and Virginia in the Ratification of the Constitution” will be the topics of a discussion led by Loudoun historians Eugene Scheel and Charles Poland Jr. tonight at 7:30 at the old Loudoun Courthouse, at the intersection of Market and King streets in Leesburg. The discussion is part of the Springtime Historic Loudoun Series in celebration of the Bicentennial of the Constitution.

For further information, call the museum at (703) 777-7427 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. @Slug: V12BUL Dianne Saenz


  1. Aishah Bowron -  June 12, 2011 - 4:01 am

    Christopher Columbus was an evil, brutal, cold, calculating, pig-brained bloodthirsty murderer who enslaved and killed native Americans !. Even worse he was a moron for thinking he was in the East Indies so he called the people Indians !. I prefer the Viking navigator Leif Eriksson who is much better explorer than Christopher Columbus !. Leif is the rightful discoverer of America who discovered Newfoundland in Canada while Chris is a usurper who only reached a few tiny islands in the Caribbean !. Chris is a guy who brought death and destruction to the New World !. I want Columbus Day abolished !.

  2. raerae -  October 15, 2010 - 12:31 pm

    was he getting made fun of

  3. raerae -  October 15, 2010 - 12:29 pm

    why did he change his name

  4. asset tracking -  October 15, 2010 - 1:14 am

    This Columbus also who first create a theory that the world is flat.

  5. sweetheart -  October 13, 2010 - 9:33 pm

    Honestly i expected something better.

  6. D. Loudermilk -  October 13, 2010 - 7:52 am

    Holiday is rarely reconized anymore,my little brother had school monday whereas 2..3..4 years ago he didn’t.

  7. kalahati itim pinoy kalahati -  October 13, 2010 - 7:40 am

    I honestly do not believe that he was the only one to believe that the world round and if one was to think simply then the only thing that he proved was that the world was better then what one expected. The one that “proved” that the world was round would be the one who made to india, which was not columbus but magellan. If you try to say columbus day is about celebrating achievements, then we are just celebrating exaggeration of mediocrity. One can also theorize that even if columbus didn’t lead the way the achievements that was reached after he arrived would still be met. The only achievements that I see that would have been created is the creation of USA, the near extinction of three entire continents of civilization, the displacement and slavery of thousands of african. And Columbus day is a day of celebrating achievements.

  8. ms.karma -  October 12, 2010 - 9:44 pm

    @kalahati itim pinoy kalahati: are you pinoy? :P

  9. Kaitlyn -  October 12, 2010 - 9:27 pm

    Btw another piece of interesting info, at the time of Columbus most educated people knew the Earth was not flat and in fact, a sphere. So there is another one of his claim to fames debunct.

    *see earlier post for more myths debunct on C.C

    Source:Also the A&E documentry on Critopher Columbus.

  10. Mato(blackbear) -  October 12, 2010 - 6:37 pm

    Not only did Norse explorer Bjarni Herjólfsson (986 A.D.) Erikson and the Vikings (approx. 1000 A.D.) and others gain sight or knowledge of this place. The Yeasah(people of the land(my people of course)) had already crossed the Bering Strait and migrated as far as modern day Brazil and parts of Chile before their arrival. So Mr.Cristoffa Corombo CLEARLY was not the first to discover America.

    ~Da-Mosi “Mato” Brown (14 y.o.)

  11. louis paiz -  October 12, 2010 - 9:59 am

    i have read some of the mixed reasons people had for dislike columbus day , but they forgat the most important ones such as proving that the earth is not flat new markets and in general we should recognise that it was a nesecity for someone to do wha he did. is a shame that some of us did not know the main achievents of the whole world just by discovering america. unfortunally they are also people that they do not know that men went to the moon already and what we have thanks to that. thank you for giving us a chance to express our selves.

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