April 8, 1513

On April 8, 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed at what is now called St. Augustine, Florida and claimed all of Florida for Spain. How’d he do this you ask? He stood on the land, planted a flag and yelled ‘DIBS’. The native people already there asked him what he was doing and what did this ‘dibs’ mean. He said it was a game of land grabbing that Europeans had perfected from the Romans and it was the latest fad in England, France, Portugal and Spain. The natives asked if they could also play this game called ‘dibs’ and Ponce de Leon said that they sure could. All they had to do was travel to a distance land, find a technologically inferior people that were occupying some very valuable or even not so valuable land. The natives said that their neighbors to the south and west experienced this very thing with a couple of groups called the Mayans and the Incans. They asked if the Europeans were going to be cutting out still-beating hearts. Ponce de Leon said no, but we might give you some warm blankets.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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