Columbus Day: Should It Remain a Federal Holiday?

This is how some opponents view Columbus Day.

A number of folks in D.C. have the day off due to Columbus Day. But what exactly are we observing today?

Columbus Day became an official holiday after Italian immigrants lobbied for the recognition of Christopher Columbus, an Italian. In 1937, Franklin Roosevelt instituted the first federal-level recognition of the day. But in recent decades, Native American groups have pushed for the abolition of the holiday and for the creation of Indigenous People’s Day. Some say Columbus deserves little recognition as he “discovered” a land already inhabited by people. Others view the holiday as honoring a man who ushered in a mass genocide.

So, what’s your take on the issue? Cast your vote in our poll below:

  • Lilrow83

    I voted ” No, Columbus didn’t discover anything. People were already living in the Americas.” but I’m imagine that if I had the day off today I’d be voting ” Yes, I like having the day off from work/school.” but I’m suspecting all the people who would vote that are either still in bed or doing something much more fun than sitting on the internet at work to pass some time.

  • awesome lady

    i voted yes, because i like the day off only because i feel like, as americans, we already work too much and need a break whenever we can get it. we’re too focused on productivity and not enough on our own well-being and the well-being of those around us.

  • awesome lady

    d’oh! i didn’t see read it close enough, can i change my vote to the third one??!!

  • Guest

    I think we should go a step further and change it not to Indigenous People’s Day, but to American Genocide Day.  We honor veterans who have died in our wars, why not have a solemn day to commemorate the truth about American history?  I am afraid that “Indigenous People’s Day” will still miss the point and result in more cultural objectification of Native Americans without acknowledging the wrongs that they suffered at the hands of the colonists.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure whether you can delete your vote, but you can always vote again (not the most scientific of polls, I know).

  • Allison

    No. It’s a quaint relic of post-war America. Kind of like smallpox. 

  • TPessemier
  • Tired…

    If anyone buys into the “I should feel guilty for something that I didn’t do that didn’t happen to anyone alive today” philosophy, I have a solution: give your property and belongings to the group you feel most guilty for, and then move back to the farthest back you can trace/guess your orgin to be.  Though I must warn you, if you go back to far, and do some reading on whatever people you claim to originate from, you might find that as long as humans have been recording history, they have been waging war, and as a result, taking land, culture, food, property, etc. from each other.  As far as Columbus Day is concerned, I feel if we eliminate the holiday, we should also change the name from United States of America, to United States of Northern part of that continent, since America is named after Vespucci.  I say that because I am pretty sure this country has a lot more practical things to focus on in stead of whether or not a pointless holiday which most people don’t know the orgin of anyway, should remain.  Thanks!  Have a great day!

  • profile profile

    If eliminating Columbus day is a flawed idea, it is because it does not go far enough as a corrective measure in becoming a truthful realistic society.  We must also crrect scores of textbooks.   The true lesson of Columbus is that imbalance of power can make anyone susceptible to corruption or criminality.   If we are not going to correct the Columbus lie, then stop making people pay taxes for the childishly false textbooks.    Unlike the writer implies below, I don’t want anyone to feel guilty about this; I merely want a culture and education system that does right by our children, that don’t imply that criminality of powerful people is trivial.   It will be a small step in showing how education is not easy and doesn’t end with elementary school myths; it is an ongoing process.