Columbus simply a product of his time
We of the pre-World War II era remember our era's history class teachers painting a simple picture of Columbus. He was depicted as a brave man who against all odds set sailed into the unknown to prove the world was round and not flat.
He proved his point but reached the Americas and not the planned trade route to India he had in mind to establish a spice trade. Eons later historians would go on record to say that the invention of the printing press and the discovery of America were the two events that shaped the world what it is today.
However, some of today's teachers tell their students that Columbus was a cruel marauder who abused the Indians he met and even brought some back for the European slave trade and that he should not be honored. In fact, some schools have gone so far as to drop Columbus Day as a school holiday. Strange as it may be we still honor President Jackson on a daily basis by having named a Chicago street after him, forgetting he was a cruel slave owner.
Columbus was a product of his era where slave labor often drove the economic engine world wide. In fact the Colosseum was built using Roman slave labor. Decades later we in America followed that lead and built the White House using African-American slave labor And, yes, it was a slave-based plantation economy that financed it.
While we Americans celebrate Columbus Day our Canadian cousins will be celebrating John Cabot Day (born Giovanni Caboto). He was the first European to actually set foot on their shores in 1497.