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kottke.org posts about Columbus Day

Christopher Columbus is not worth celebrating

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 13, 2015

Columbus Day is to Native Americans as Uber Day would be to taxi dispatchers. Many schools and other institutions are off today. Vox celebrates with a rundown of nine reasons Christopher Columbus was a murderer, tyrant, and scoundrel.

Population figures from 500 years ago are necessarily imprecise, but Bergreen estimates that there were about 300,000 inhabitants of Hispaniola in 1492. Between 1494 and 1496, 100,000 died, half due to mass suicide. In 1508, the population was down to 60,000. By 1548, it was estimated to be only 500.

Understandably, some natives fled to the mountains to avoid the Spanish troops, only to have dogs set upon them by Columbus’s men.

The Oatmeal was less flattering.

Update: Here’s chapter one of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, the first part of which concerns Columbus. (via @mathowie)