Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day, not Columbus

Ohio is one of those states that unfortunately still closes schools and government offices on the second Monday in October to celebrate the mass murderer Christopher Columbus and so today is Columbus Day. The state’s capital city is even named after him.

Joshua Holland in an entertaining article makes the case why Columbus should be considered both a bumbling idiot and a genocidal maniac and no one should be celebrating him. It is encouraging that the movement to celebrate today as Indigenous People’s Day is gaining ground.

The show Last Week Tonight examines the history of the man and why this holiday should be scrapped.


  1. Holms says

    While I can get behind not-venerating-conquerors, and while he certainly made a famous navigation error (although not the error you are thinking of), he was not a bumbling idiot. This should give a decent overview of what was happening at the time.

  2. StevoR says

    @ ^ Holms : What about Ferdinand Magellan -- and Juan Sebastian Elcano who finished that first global circumnavigation? Or Sir Francis Drake who suceeded and didn’t die halfway around and plundered a lot of Spanish ships and basically kicked their butts? Or Walter Raleigh who brought back potatoes and tobacco? (Well, he can keep the last one I guess! Smoking -- the real Montezumas’ revenge?)

    Of course, there’s also Amerigo Vespucci (also Italian!) who gave the “New World” continents their name too :


    Although so much of his story is disputed.

    Either way, I agree that Columbus was a genocidal, brutal man whose massacred, raped and enslaved those unfortunate enough to be “discovered”living peacefully and co-operatively on their own Caribbean islands. As such his memory whilst deserving of remembrance does not deserve celebration or white washing.

    So I’d agree with calling it Indigenous Day and also with maybe making Election day and the Moon Landings day public holidays that deserve celebration and recognition. They are also more American too FWIW. As someone else noted in another blog post /article today, its kinda ironic that the descendants of Columbus are the spanish speaking Latinos that so many Americans now want to build a wall against.

    Oh & if you want a famous Italian American to celebrate you do much worse than Mario Andretti. 1978 F1 champion, Daytona 500 and Indy500 winner too.

  3. Chiroptera says

    Maybe they can rename it “McKinley Day”? That should take some of the sting out of the recent mountain naming setback.

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