THE TALON

Columbus Day

Should It Really Be Celebrated?

Christopher+Columbus
Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus

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Should we celebrate Columbus Day as a national holiday?

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On Monday, October 8th, many American schools and businesses closed in recognition of America’s most outdated holiday, Columbus Day celebrated each year in honor of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the Americas in 1492, Christopher Columbus has long been credited as the first one to venture to the Americas. However, it is interesting to examine how it is possible that Columbus was the first one to discover America if it was already inhabited by millions of people upon his arrival. Furthermore, some historians credit Leif Erikson, the Viking explorer, as the first person to step foot in North America at the turn of the 9th century. These points of controversy, as well as Columbus’s harsh governing of the Spanish colony of Hispaniola, all seek to pose the question: Should Columbus Day be celebrated as a national holiday?

Upon his arrival in the Bahamas, Columbus immediately imposed harsh policies against the native people of the region and took many of them as prisoners. ”

Although it is conventionally taught in schools that Columbus was the first person to discovery the Americas in 1492, many argue that this is not entirely true. After all, Columbus never did make landfall on what is now America, but rather in the Bahamas. As another point of contention to the aforementioned argument, Columbus held the belief that he had landed in a part of Asia known as the East Indies. Most notably, though, the land Columbus supposedly discovered was already inhabited my millions of indigenous people long before his arrival. Regardless of one’s beliefs about Columbus’s voyages to America, it is Columbus’s controversial time as the governor of Hispaniola and his treatment of the native people that has generated the most advocacy for the removal of Columbus Day as a national holiday.

Upon his arrival in the Bahamas, Columbus immediately imposed harsh policies against the native people of the region and took many of them as prisoners. In his journal, he describes how he exploited the indigenous people as slaves and tore them away from their civilizations for his own personal gain. As governor of Hispaniola, Columbus was known to employ barbaric punishments against his subjects and was even removed from power as a result. Reports from the time detail these inhumane practices and highlight the negative side of Columbus’s rule over the Spanish colonies.

Recently, as these details about Columbus’s life have resurfaced, there has been growing support for the removal of Columbus Day as a national holiday. In addition, in 2018, Columbus Day falls on the same day as Indigenous People’s Day in an ironic occurrence. Many places across the United States have already chosen to recognize Indigenous People’s Day in place of Columbus Day in protest of Columbus’s controversial life. I will allow you, the everyday reader, the chance to decide if Columbus Day should be celebrated as a national holiday in the United States. Simply refer to the poll below and leave your opinion on the issue.

 

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