Some history books say those giants from the land of the midnight suns, the Vikings, or nordiques, discovered America. They say this took place at about the time the crusaders were going to the Holy Land to recover the Golden Fleece, a valuable rams skin, from the Saracens. The knights, led by kings and cardinals, rode on chargers and had squires and falcons. These fighting saints had to battle terrifying lions and tigers, known in those days as bengals, as well as infidels.
Another group with a lot of saints was the Celtics, some of whose chiefs were giants. They wore tams but it is not likely that they discovered America because they were lakers rather than ocean sailors.
Finally, the Spanish kings wife, Queen Isabella, made Columbus one of her admirals and bought him three ships. She had to sell her jewels to pay the bills. Guided by the north stars and the prayers of his "padres," Columbus discovered America. His crew of ruffians and pirates were no angels.
Later the Pilgrims, who were descendants of the cavaliers, or long hairs, founded Plymouth Colony. They landed their schooners on some rocks. They left Holland because they did not want their children to speak Dutch or wear knickerbockers.
When the 76ers made the American Revolution, some of the tories, or royals, said that sea raiders like Captain John Paul Jones and patriots like Tom Paine, author of "the A's of Reason," were British nationals and should be hung as renegades. They said the same about the "canucks" to the north, who preferred to be called Canadiens (the French word for maple leafs).
The British soldiers who came to fight were called redcoats, or lobsters, because they dressed in reds, including red blazers and red sox. The Continentals favored blues but were poor and motley and most of them wore white sox. After Commodore Perry reported, "We have mets the enemy and they are ours," the rockets red glare showed that the stars and stripes was still there!
In peacetime many Yankees sought fame and fortune before the mast. Some became "oilers of the sea" and like Captain Ahab sailed on whalers searching the horizons for jets of spume that meant "thar she blows!" Other "oilers" worked as codfish and sardine packers or slaughtered golden seals and penguins. Sometimes the fishermen lost their nets to those troublesome twins of the deep, sharks and dolphins. And if Aeros, the goddess of love, kindled the flames of passion, sailors would "jump ship" to live with the South Sea islanders. There were many merchants and traders wandering around in the ocean storms.
Another way to get rich was to invest a few bucks with the bears and bulls of Wall Street. But you had to know your P's and Q's. There were many artful dodgers who sold risky stocks known as "high flyers." Quite a few immigrants lost their savings to these steelers and set out across the continent to seek their fortunes as 49ers. Some found gold nuggets in streams.
These trail-blazers had to expos themselves to many perils. Although the Indians were generally friendly, their warriors, or braves, sometimes tangled with the cowboys, who called their wild horses broncos. The braves, who rode pintos and phillies, were called "redskins" although their skins were actually different shades of browns.
When ranchers were threatened by fierce raiders like the Apaches and Black Hawks, the rangers were called in. The rangers, armed with repeating colts that fired six bullets, were led by colonels who carried sabres and rode on spirited ponies called pacers.