The term "red man" or "red Indian" was first used by Europeans to refer to the Beothuk of the island of Newfoundland who actually did appear to have red skin. This was because they traditionally smeared their bodies with red ochre as protection against insects. The tribe was hunted to extinction by native enemies as well as by Europeans, and the last known member died in 1829. John Cabot and his crew encountered them on the very first English expedition to the New World in 1497. Reports that some Beothuk had yellow hair has led to speculation that the tribe may have assimilated some Viking settlers who had briefly colonized Newfoundland about 500 years before Cabot's voyage.
Incidentally, a recent Canada-wide history survey showed that only 6 percent of all Canadians knew that the Beothuk were hunted to extinction, but 71 percent of Newfoundlanders did.
LSC's end-of-term presentations:
Wed. 7 & 10 p.m. Conspiracy Theory in 26-100
Thurs. 7 & 10 p.m. Event Horizon in 26-100
This feature was brought to you by the CAC Program Board. Today's factoids provided by the MIT Quiz Bowl team. This the last episode of Trivia Corner until next semester.