Does Christopher Columbus Really Deserve A Holiday?

Should we continue to observe Columbus Day?

Columbus Day was established as a federal holiday in 1937, and it celebrated the supposed founding of America by Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer whose trip was financed by the Spanish monarchy.

The (Oct. 2) action by the Moscow City Council to replace Columbus Day with a new holiday, Indigenous Peoples Day, is disappointing and sad. We all march together, it's a great day. Several cities celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day.

However, not everyone in Utah is happy about it.

"Ninety-five percent of New Mexicans are a mix of Spanish blood and Native American blood", Ralph Arellanes, a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens Civil Rights Commission, said in 2015, after Albuquerque voted to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day. Particularly notable are 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus and 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, both by Charles C. Mann.

The movement can generally be traced back to 1991, when Indigenous Peoples Day was first codified into law in Berkeley, Calif., as a counterpoint to the 500th anniversary of Columbus' landing. When native populations were all but extinct from disease, the trans-Atlantic African slave trade was ramped up to fill this slavery void.

The urban legend would have you believe Americans celebrate Columbus Day to honor a heroic man who founded the US.

As a result, there has been a growing chorus across the country to switch out Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day.

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This year, the holiday comes amid a national debate over statues dedicated to controversial historical figures triggered by the violence sparked by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Virginia in August over the removal of a statue of Confederate Army general Robert E. Lee. South Dakotans called theirs Native American Day.

Asked about the review of Christopher Columbus statues on public lands ordered recently by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, also an Italian-American, Cuomo did not directly answer a reporter's question. As most people in this country either immigrated or had ancestors who immigrated to this country, the discovery of the New World was important to us.

He noted that October is also Italian American month.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents who said they were Catholic, or 65 percent, expressed a "favorable" or "very favorable" opinion of Columbus and the national holiday that honors him.

"There's a whole genocide aspect to it and in celebrating Columbus you tend to forget all the trauma and the pain, and you forget how all of that is still with us today".

"The motion, let me be clear, is not about erasing history", said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who announced the motion earlier this month, according to the Los Angeles Times.

However, in recent years, indigenous people and others have rallied against the holiday, claiming Columbus enslaved and murdered many indigenous people.

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