“In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” And his arrival in the West Indies led to enduring links between Europe and the Americas. In the early years of our nation’s history, Christopher Columbus was raised to hero status by writers and historians wishing to create a common memory for our new nation. Five hundred years later, by the quincentennial of 1992, Columbus’ name had become somewhat tarnished. Is Columbus a hero worth celebrating, or was he a cruel imperialist? Discover the debate, and decide for yourself.