To the editor:

The Salem News published a letter (”Don’t shun Columbus) in the August 3 edition regarding Columbus which contains several inaccuracies.

First, Columbus did not discover “America,” he discovered the Bahamas. To be truly accurate regarding European presence on this continent, the Norse settled North America in about 1000 at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Second, Amerigo Vespucci wasn’t Columbus’ navigator. America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer who set forth the then revolutionary concept that the lands that Christopher Columbus sailed to in 1492 were part of a separate continent. A map created in 1507 by Martin Waldseemüller was the first to depict this new continent with the name “America,” a Latinized version of “Amerigo.” So, if we really want to celebrate the “discovery” of America, we should put up a statue of Leif Erikson. Columbus never set foot on North America.

Michael Marsille

Salem

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