Should We Still Celebrate Columbus Day?
Columbus Day is fast approaching and to most Americans, except for those living in Hawaii, it's just another statutory holiday that entitles them to a day off from work. Most Americans learn at some point in their lives that Christopher Columbus didn't actually discover America and so to celebrate a holiday for him is rather insincere.
However, despite the fraudulent nature of Columbus Day, I don't think most Americans would want to just cancel the holiday because that would mean one more day of work or one more day of school.
A good solution to this problem is to just copy the State of Hawaii and call it Discovery Day. In Hawaii, Columbus Day is not recognized as an official holiday. Instead, they have a day called Discovery Day, commemorating the Polynesian discovery of Hawaii.
Making changes to the Columbus Day holiday should not be sacrilegious. Columbus Day did not become a federal holiday until 1970. To put that in perspective, people who are 40 or older today were alive before it became a federal holiday.
Granted, Columbus was not the sole precipitator of the displacement and suffering imposed on native Americans for the next half millennium, and certainly his navigational, scientific, and sheer physical accomplishment, which rank him with or above such figures as Marco Polo, Ferdinand Magellan, and Lewis and Clark, cannot be denied.
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Clearlake, California, United States