I was doing the reading for my property class earlier today and stumbled across a rather funny story (you'll have to bear with me, this is as good as it gets in law school). The current reading discusses the system for recording land titles in America. Federal agencies generally require land title searches go back to the original source. A New Orleans lawyer, working for a government agency, researched the land title back to 1803, and when asked who owned the land prior to that, he replied:
Please be advised that in the year 1803 the United States of America acquired the Territory of Louisiana from the Republic of France by purchase. The Republic of France previously acquired title from the Spanish Crown by conquest. Spain acquired title by virtue of the discoveries of one Christopher Columbus, a Genoese sailor who had been duly authorized to embark upon his voyage of discovery by Isabella, Queen of Spain. Before granting such authority, Isabella, a pious and cautious woman, obtained the sanction of His Holiness, the Pope. The Pope is the Vicar on earth of Jesus Christ, the only son and heir apparent of God. God made Louisiana.