A nice email received from Benjamin Baughmann with permission to publish:
Mr. Frank,You don’t know me, but I wanted to write to you to let you know how excited I am to learn about your idea to “rechristen” Columbus Day as Exloration Day. As an historian and a lover of exploration history, I have felt for years that Columbus Day does not get the recognition that it deserves. Of course, I completely understand the negative aspects of Columbus’ voyages on native populations and the historical innacuracies that grade school children are taught concerning Columbus’ “discovering” of America, but I’ve always wished that we could honor Columbus (and other explorers) not for his many flaws but for his navigational prowess and spirit of discovery. I even wrote a letter to my local congressman stating that since Columbus Day (Oct. 12th) and Leif Ericsson Day (Oct. 9th) are in such close proximity, we should combine them and create a new day (a al President’s Day) to honor all explorers from Pytheas to Vasco Da Gama to Lewis & Clark to Neil Armstrong.In case you are wondering, I saw Mo Rocca’s segment on yesterday’s Sunday Morning that featured you and then found the article on wired.com concerning your quest (sorry I didn’t know about the online petition that you started or I would have signed it for sure. Did you get enough signatures?). Just wanted to let you know that I champion your cause, and if there is anything I can do to support it in the future, please let me know.By the way, I am a member of the Society for the History of Discoveries. If you have not tried contacting them already, I am sure there are many members who would love to rally behind your idea, as well.Thanks,Benjamin BaughmanGriffin, GA
Thanks Benjamin! It was great to hear from you and we will be sure to contact your society.