Columbus Day


Today’s date on my calendar says “Columbus Day Observed,” but it seems like no one celebrates it anymore. It’s still a significant part of history to study, however. Columbus was the first European to reach South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Also, he was the first one to really establish contact between the Americas and Europe.

New World Feast:
Columbus and those who came after him discovered many edible plants in the Americas that were unknown to Europe at the time. New World plants include: corn, potatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers, chocolate, vanilla, lima beans, navy beans, kidney beans, green beans, pumpkins, avocados, peanuts, pecans, cashews, pineapples, bananas, blueberries, wild rice, and tomatoes. The Europeans began to import these plants from the Americas. Using New World plants as the main ingredients, create a menu for a New World Feast. Include an appetizer, a soup, a main course, side dishes, and dessert. For example, you might serve guacamole (made with avocado and tomatoes) and cream of corn soup.

Essay/Discussion Question:
How might the course of American history and your way of life be different today if Columbus had not discovered America on October 12, 1492?

Christopher Columbus Biography:
http://www.knowledgehouse.info/njfk/columbus.html

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