From a very cogent and relevant column by Kyle Smith in the New York Post:
The arrival of Columbus in America kicked off an era of rapid technological advancement and cultural ferment. While the clash of civilizations was bloody, celebrating Columbus Day is not a salute to conquest. Columbus is simply a handy symbol for all of the energy Italians and other Europeans brought to the Americas. That’s why the fifth-oldest university in the US, the capital of Ohio, a province in Canada, a traffic circle at the southwest corner of Central Park, a country in South America, one of the big five Hollywood studios, one of the four TV networks (the C in CBS), the vice-presidential anthem and, oh yeah, the seat of the federal government are all named in honor of Chris.
Columbus paved the way for the world’s first modern democracy, the one we live in today. America (named after another Italian) was a gigantic leap forward for human liberty and the possibilities for human flourishing that go with it.
Click here to read the entire column.