By Bill Federer, staff writer
On his third voyage, Columbus sailed south along the west coast of Africa and was caught in the doldrums, a notorious condition of no winds and intense heat.
After drifting aimlessly for eight days and running low on water, Columbus vowed if the winds returned, he would name the first land he saw after the Holy Trinity.
The winds returned and on JULY 31, 1498, he sighted an island off the coast of Venezuela which coincidentally had three peaks.
He named it Trinidad.
Columbus obtained fresh water for his sailors and in the process was the first European to see South America.
Booker T. Washington referred to a similar story at the Atlanta Exposition, September 18, 1895:
“A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal, ‘Water, water; we die of thirst!’
The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back, ‘Cast down your bucket where you are.’…
The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket, and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River.”
Booker T. Washington concluded:
“I would say ‘Cast down your bucket where you are’…making friends of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded.”
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