Hudson sails to FMS

For 400 years, historians have wondered what happened to Henry Hudson.

On Friday, Oct. 9, he showed up at Farnsworth Middle School to give a presentation detailing his life and travels, and eventual discovery of the river now named after him.

Aqua Ducks tour guide Carl Bensi, in full Hudson garb, spoke to nearly 200 seventh-graders at the Learning Center classroom on Friday afternoon, just days before the country celebrated the achievements of another legendary explorer, Christopher Columbus.

Librarian Shelia DiMaggio, who helped organize the event with teacher Keir Aspin, said the experience allowed history to become something more for the students who saw the presentation.

\It absolutely makes an impact with students, him being in costume and being in character, DiMaggio said.

DiMaggio touted Bensi's way with the kids, and said he likely called on his experience as a teacher at Albany High School.

"This makes it come to life," she said. "History can be very dry."

She said she is glad the district is expecting to have him back within the next two weeks, and will be glad to have the rest of the seventh-grade class watch history come to life.

Bensi said he has been with the tour program for three years, and has been doing special Henry Hudson presentations in honor of the quadracentennial anniversary of the famed explorer's exploits in North America.

Bensi spoke of the "rumors of a northwest passage" between Europe and the "spice islands," now the Indian and Indonesian region.

Hudson explored the river that now bears his name in a vessel known as the Half Moon while searching for the Pacific Ocean, which was funded by the Dutch. The currency they used at the time, Bensi said, was the "guilder," which is where the town got its name.

He also quipped about his birthday last month.

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