General History United States

We’re toppling statues because we don’t learn enough history

Columbus statue - Boston
A statue depicting Christopher Columbus is seen with its head removed at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park on June 10, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. © Getty Images/Tim Bradbury

On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with three small ships, the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina. On October 12, the expedition sighted land, probably Watling Island in the Bahamas, and went ashore the same day, claiming it for Spain. Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba, which he thought was mainland China, and in December the expedition landed on Hispaniola, which Columbus thought might be Japan. He established a small colony there with 39 of his men.

Columbus died on May 20, 1506, without realizing that he had discovered the New World.

However, his journey kicked off centuries of exploration and exploitation on the American continents. Read more about Columbus’s life and judge for yourself.

Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime oublié, parce qu’il a été proprement fait. (Behind Every Great Fortune There Is a Great Crime.) — Honoré de Balzac
General History Immigrants

America’s forgotten past: Korematsu v. United States

Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu (January 30, 1919 – March 30, 2005) was an American civil rights activist who objected to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
The executive order that forced Japanese-Americans from their homes also put immigrants from Italy under the watchful eye of the government. (Library of Congress photo)

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General History Pandemic Roman Empire

The Antonine Plague

A bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.
Photograph: DEA/G DAagli Orti/De Agostini via Getty Images
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the last famous Stoic philosopher of antiquity. During the last 14 years of his life he faced one of the worst plagues in European history. The Antonine Plague, named after him, was probably caused by a strain of the smallpox virus. It’s estimated to have killed up to 5 million people, possibly including Marcus himself.
From AD166 to around AD180, repeated outbreaks occurred throughout the known world. Roman historians describe the legions being devastated, and entire towns and villages being depopulated and going to ruin. Rome itself was particularly badly affected, carts leaving the city each day piled high with dead bodies.

Learn more from The Guardian’s article.

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Columbus General History Mississippi

GCIACS toured the Nina & Pinta in Biloxi Mississippi

Nina & Pinta in Biloxi Mississippi
The Nina & Pinta replicas docked near Harrah’s and the Biloxi Yacht Club in Mississippi.

During the weekend members of the Gulf Coast Italian American Cultural Society toured the Nina & Pinta in Biloxi Mississippi

In 1450 the Ottoman Turks closed off the land trade route to the Far East. In 1476, Columbus was on a ship that was sunk by Barbary Coast pirates of Africa, but survived by holding on the a board and swimming two miles to land outside of Portugal. The pirates of the Barbary Coast believed the non-Muslims had to pay a “tribute.” This belief lasted for over 400 years until 1804 and the Barbary Coast Wars. Hence the words in the Marine Hymn: “To the shores of Tripoli.”

Columbus was motivated to find a safer trade route to the Far East. After 1491 and the Treaty of Granada with the Muslim Moors was signed, funds were available for the exploration.

Columbus was a great navigator and knew the winds blew east to west near the Azores to the Caribbean and west to east to the north. Using the stars he steered the ships on a straight line for 33 days.

Trade between the two worlds after Columbus’s discovery.

Click on the image to read the Sicily Journal’s article.

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General History Italy

Remembering the Foibe in Italy

Aftermath of a massacre, Labin, December 1943
Aftermath of a massacre (Labin, December 1943)
Source: ANPI – Roma – Italian National Partisans Association

February 10th is the Day of Remembrance in Italy.

The purpose of the Day of Remembrance is to preserve and renew “the memory of the tragedy of the Italians and of all the victims of the sinkholes, the exodus of the Istrians, the Rijeks and the Dalmatians Italians from their lands during the Second World War and in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War (1943-1945), and of the more complex story of the eastern border” .

Remembrance day: what it is and why it is celebrated on February 10th

Foibe massacres

Foibe seats
Foibe locations – Source: wikipedia

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