Today is Columbus Day. A day named after the guy who discovered the Americas. But Christopher Columbus is one of the most overrated and lucky bastards in history.
Firstly, he wasn't the only person who thought that the world was round. Everyone with a shred of education knew that. The Greeks knew that centuries earlier, and people could see things like a ship's sails disappearing on the horizon.
The people who doubted Columbus said that the trip from Europe to China was too long. Columbus thought it was only 3,800 miles away. China is 16,900 miles west of Spain. If not for the existence of the Americas, Columbus and his crew would have died from starvation on their way to China.
After getting to the Americas, Columbus enslaved or killed the natives, then mismanaged the colonies so poorly and treated his own people so badly that he was arrested and thrown in jail. He died as kind of a failure.
He wasn't the first person to the New World, wasn't the first European (the Vikings were), and he wasn't even looking for it. He became an important historical figure by accident, sort of like Eli Manning in Super Bowl XLII. He was along for the ride at a pivotal event and has since sucked.