• The "discoverer" of America isn't who was here first. It was who claimed it first. There was no "America" at the time Columbus reached the West Indies and hence, no "North" or "South America". It was referred to as "The New World'. The naming didn't come later. Columbus never reached what would later be the United States - the farthest north he came was what is now Mexico and parts of South America. Even though he never reached the Florida region and even though others were here before him, he was the first to file a legal claim (for Spain), and thus, he gets the credit for it.
  • AFAIK, Vikings *are* credited in modern history books as being the first Europeans to discover America. *** Columbus is credited for not only discovering America, but also for being responsible (to some degree directly, to some degree indirectly) for making that knowledge widespread throughout Europe or "the civilized world" - something that the Vikings failed to do. *** Of course, the FIRST discoverers of the Americas were the ancestors of the Native Americans who arrived, possibly by crossing the Bering Strait (I think it more likely: by canoe or kayak of some sort), long before anyone had even coined the term "Europe".
  • I remember way back when I was a kid the teachers telling us "America" was named for Amerigo Vespucci. So there was some acknowledgement for quite awhile. As for the Vikings, they didn't leave enough of a record either written or archeological to even be sure they were really ever here. It is just in recent years with the help of satellite photos and imagery that they think they have found remnants of Viking settlements. As far as discovery of the land called America; It's hard for me to give any credence to those people since I know my own family have been in the neighborhood since before the last ice age.

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