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.
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.
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.
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” .