Columbus Day: Celebrate or Protest?

Today is a federal holiday, but not everybody is celebrating.

Schools, post offices, banks and most government buildings are closed today in observance of Columbus Day, the federal holiday recognizing Christopher Columbus and his 1492 "discovery" of America.

While this is a day of celebration for plenty of people, others say Columbus is not a man to celebrate and look at him as the person who triggered an era that brought disease and violent destruction to the people of the "New World."

In some places, substitute holidays have replaced Columbus Day. Today is Native Americans' Day in South Dakota, and in Berkeley, Calif. (no stranger to controversy), this is Indigenous Peoples Day.

Where do you stand on this issue? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Emcee of Seekonk October 08, 2012 at 03:52 PM
The 15th and 16th centuries were the time of discovery. Europeans had figured how to safely navigate great distances in search of a quick way to the east (China). Sooner or later, whether it be an Englishman, Frenchman, Dutchman, Spaniard, Italian or a navigator from Portugal, someone was going to run into the great land mass which was later called the Americas. The Vikings had made the trip even earlier. When gold was discoved in Mexico and Central America, it was all over for the native populations. Should we devote a day to mark Columbus' landfall? It wouldn't bother me if the day were renamed in honor of the people who occupied this land before Europeans took control of it... might even be a nice thing to do. Now you go deliver the message to the folks on Federal Hill in Providence that their holiday has been usurped.
Terese Bohaxiu-Dicastiglione October 09, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Your last sentence is reminiscent of an old episode about Columbus Day on 'The Sopranos'.
Emcee of Seekonk October 09, 2012 at 11:58 AM
The name Dicastiglione is not lost on me, and hopefully I haven't offended anyone. But Federal Hill has always had a certain mystique for those of us who live in Massachusetts. The land of the Mafia and sidewalk murders and people named 'Baby Shanks'. Capos. And everything all else. Today, I think it's just a land of restaurants. But I believe they still celebrate Columbus Day with parades and hoopla. Pace.


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