People, Oct. 8, 1973

Those few Italians within earshot were somewhat nonplused when an American Indian named Lucky Eagle stepped off a Boeing 747 at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Intercontinental Airport and declared: "In the name of the Indian people, I claim the right of discovery and take possession of this land."

Lucky Eagle, who under the paleface name Adam Nordwall teaches sociology at California State University at Hayward, was simply trying to score a point:

that for an Indian to claim the discovery of Italy would be as logical as Christopher Columbus' claim to have discovered America....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!