These 14 States Have Eliminated Columbus Day
Christopher Columbus has had a tough time lately as some statues of Christopher Columbus didn't survive the summer. They were removed by either lawmakers or protesters, who realized that the upgrading of Columbus by publicly funded statues vilified the memory of the millions of indigenous peoples who were already living in America when he arrived. For many critics, the statue's existence means at most tacit support for the imperialist and racist enslavement, rape and murder committed by Columbus and his compatriots, and at least a disregard for the memory of the Native Americans of the historical figure. At this point, for many years, local activists and allies had wanted to stop appreciating the figure and focus on the communities and civilizations that lived and thrived in the United States prior to his arrival.
The same energy is behind the movement to make the second Monday of October Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day. This is not so radical or new: the idea for Indigenous Peoples Day came from a UN conference in 1979, and South Dakota was the first US state to recognize the day in 1989.
Today Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, and Vermont officially celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day. Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC do so by proclamation, which usually means state offices are open rather than closed.
Two states, Alabama and Oklahoma, celebrate both holidays. More than 130 cities celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day in addition to or instead of Columbus Day. Berkeley, California first introduced Indigenous Peoples Day in 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus' trip.
Columbus Day in the United States probably began in New York and Boston in 1792 as the Tammany Society and Massachusetts Historical Society celebrated the 300th anniversary of Columbus' first trip to America. Columbus, a native Genoese, eventually became a symbol of Italian-American pride. Under pressure from the Knights of Columbus, President Franklin Roosevelt issued a proclamation designating October 12, 1934 as a day to celebrate Columbus. In 1968 Columbus Day became an official federal holiday of the year. It was only 11 years before the United Nations declared a federal holiday to recommend changing the day to celebrate the indigenous people, which makes the inevitability of maintaining the day seem inevitable.
The only people who seem passionate about preserving Columbus Day are the Italian-American groups that inspired what has been widely dubbed The Sopranos and President Trump's Worst Episode. They blame the anti-Columbus movement on “radical activists” who “want to replace the discussion of his great contributions with talk of mistakes, his discoveries with atrocities, and his successes with transgressions. "
Whether this will be enough to save Columbus Day is an open question, but it's clear that mounting pressure to address the injustices of American society means that the days of Columbus Day are more likely than ever are counted. Given that the movement has been active for quite some time, and the distance of statues from it increased as the summer went on, and the conversation about its true legacy was far more mainstream than it was before, it could be sooner rather than later honoring the entire United States the Native Americans on the second Monday in October each year.
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Which states actually still celebrate Columbus Day?
Die Post Which states actually still celebrate Columbus Day? first appeared on Fatherly.
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