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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

DISCOVERING COLUMBUS

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The neatly fenced off spot on the banks of the Charles near Stillman Infirmary where Lief the son of Eric built his Vineland cottage has long testified that when Christopher Columbus sailed into the setting sun he was not taking as big a chance as was formerly supposed. But further investigations, the results of which are still buried in scientific terminology, show that Lief himself was not the first and that dozens of explorers visited America before Columbus. Mr. Burton Kline, in the current World's Work lists five periods of exploration before Columbus came, and indicates that the wise Christopher carried with him a guide who had been on several trading expeditions to South America and Mexico. Professor Wiener of Harvard has been led through his studies of Indian languages to the conclusion that America was discovered by African negroes with traces of Arabian civilization.

Of course, Columbus has not been pushed off his pedestal by these discoveries. He has merely moved from the pedestal of adventurous explorer to that of the world's first press agent and real estate operator on continental scales. The trouble with all the other explorers was that they were unwilling to let Europe know of the good thing they had found Columbus set himself the task of making America popular, and he succeeded. All the other discovereres had returned at once to Europe, perhaps even at that early date disgusted by the extreme provincialism of the inhabitants. But Columbus bad the gift of salesmanship, and has been rewarded by having his name firmly attached to the year 1492.

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