Yesterday, we asked whether Columbus Day should remain a federal holiday. And the majority of you responded “no,” in our admittedly unscientific poll. Alternatively, about 27 percent said it should remain a federal holiday, mostly because “we can’t vilify historical figures based on today’s moral standards.” The majority disagreed, voting that we shouldn’t have the day off to honor Columbus either because it’s offensive or because he didn’t discover anything:
A number of you offered additional thoughts on the issue. Some groups have been lobbying for the day to be commemorated as Indigenous People’s Day instead of Columbus Day. Reader Guest had a different suggestion:
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: