Coolidge Columbus Day message

On Oct. 11, 1930 Calvin Coolidge filed his daily “Calvin Coolidge Says” column, dateline Northampton.

Since 1492 Oct. 12 has properly been Columbus Day. But only of late it has been generally celebrated as a holiday. Such observance rests on a secure foundation. Measured by its effects on all following history, the voayge of Columbus, ending in the discovery of a new hemisphere, was an achievement of the first magnitude. Possibly others preceded him, but he was the first who made known the existence of America to European civilization. He is entitled to rank forever as the greatest of all explorers.

But the glory of his exploit, great as it was, becomes almost unimportant when compared with its results. It marked the inception of the modern era. The minds of men were opened to new thoughts. The gold and silver of America gave a new trend to the life of Europe. The arts began to flourish. The people began to assert their rights. More colonies brought more trade. A new age appeared, great in captains, admirals, statesmen, poets and philosophers, and finally new nations dedicated to human freedom arose on this side of the Atlantic. These are partly the reasons why Christopher Columbus is entitled to be honored.

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