Conquistadors

Yesterday's blog focused on the important subject of ALF, an alien life form who inspired laughter on network television in the latter half of the 1980's. We included a picture of an ALF doll here at the American Treasure Tour standing next to a small wooden depiction of a conquistador. Now, if you're wondering why ALF would be next to that, you have a valid question there. One we simply cannot answer. But we will tell you a little bit about conquistadors. 

The Spanish were the first Europeans to make a permanent foothold in the Americas after Christopher Columbus accidentally discovered them in 1492. Their legacy is not an especially happy one, but they reached the soil that would become the United States of America right around one hundred years before the English settled either Jamestown, Virginia OR Plymouth, Massachusetts. 

Men with names including De Soto, Coronado and Cortez explored the lands of the now-United States, from Florida to New Mexico, and as far north as Kansas. They described unimaginably harsh conditions, and often exploited the local residents for their food and shelter, warring with native tribes.

One man named Cabeza de Vaca (Which, oddly, translates to "Head of cow" in English) was shipwrecked with a number of compatriots. It took him a full four years to travel from the Gulf of Mexico coast in Florida to familiar lands in Mexico.