On October 12, 1492, the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus arrived on the coasts of the Americas, marking the beginning of the celebration known as Columbus Day. It was unofficially observed in various towns and states across the United States as early as the 18th century, but it wasn’t until 1937 that it was officially recognised as a federal holiday. According to Presidential Proclamation PL90-363, the date of the celebration was later moved to the second Monday in October in 1971.
Columbus Day commemorates the contributions and accomplishments of Italian-Americans throughout history. However, there are some individuals who hold radical views who oppose the continuation of Columbus Day celebrations because of the numerous disputes that occurred many centuries ago when Columbus and his company arrived in the United States of America.
As a result, in the 1970s, there was a suggestion to commemorate Indigenous Peoples Day as a substitute for Columbus Day as an alternate commemoration. Many states have actually been commemorating the day since that time.
Why is Columbus Day Still Celebrated Despite the Explorer’s Violent Legacy?
The explorer was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Native Americans, the ruin of vast tracts of land, and the disruption of a culture that had existed for tens of thousands of years.
Columbus Day is observed on Monday in honour of Christopher Columbus — but not everyone will be honouring the Italian explorer and navigator.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus embarked on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, where he came across the Americas and the people who lived on their continent, according to the Library of Congress (LOC).
The discovery paved the door for broad exploration and colonisation of the Americas, resulting in Columbus becoming a revered figure in Italian-American culture as a result of his achievements.
The earliest documented celebration of Columbus Day in the United States was on October 12, 1792, but it wasn’t until 1971 that the occasion was officially recognised as a federal holiday, which is commemorated yearly on the second Monday in October, according to the LOC.
Since then, Italian-Americans all around the country have commemorated Columbus’ journey and contributions to the world by holding festivals and parades on that particular day.
Not everyone, on the other hand, has regarded the holiday as a pleasant event. Indigenous peoples and other activists have argued in recent years that the explorer was to blame for the deaths of thousands of people, the destruction of vast tracts of land, and the disruption of traditions that had been practised by Native Americans for tens of thousands of years prior to his arrival.
What is the significance of Columbus Day?
A national holiday in the United States, Columbus Day is celebrated on October 12th to commemorate Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World on October 12, 1492. Considering that Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, it is no surprise that Italian Americans have taken up the cause of recognising his accomplishments. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared it a national holiday in 1937, following a proclamation from the White House.
What is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and why is it celebrated?
Traditional Native Americans celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on September 12, commemorating the Native American inhabitants of North and South America, most of whom were forcefully uprooted and exploited beginning with the advent of Christopher Columbus. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is observed either in lieu of Columbus Day or alongside it, depending on the state government, local government, or institution in which it is observed.
What was the impetus for the establishment of Indigenous Peoples’ Day?
Indigenous Peoples’ Day was established as an alternative holiday to Columbus Day for individuals who disagree to what they say is an inappropriate commemoration of the event that marked the beginning of the disastrous European invasion of Native Americans. It is observed on October 12th this year. A proposal to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day was made during the United Nations’ International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas in 1977, and it gained widespread support.
Should the celebration of Christopher Columbus be commemorated?
The question of whether or not to observe Columbus Day, as well as whether or not Indigenous Peoples Day should be honoured alongside or in instead of it, is currently a topic of public debate. Even if some may disagree, it is the author’s opinion that Columbus Day should be the only holiday observed on that particular day. This is due to the fact that Columbus Day is a significant occasion in the commemoration of American and global history. It also serves to recognise and commemorate the numerous significant achievements made by Italian-Americans, and Columbus Day does not prevent the commemoration of Native American heritage and contributions.
To begin, Columbus Day is a significant occasion that serves to explain and teach about American and international history to children and adults. As a result of Columbus’s trip and its consequences for the growth of the Spanish Empire in the New World, it goes without saying that this is the case. The discovery of the presence of the Caribbean for Europeans opened up a slew of possibilities for exploration and economic development that had previously been impossible to imagine. This had a significant impact on the development of world history because, for the first time in history, people were able to undertake commercial transactions with people in practically every corner of the world.