October 8, 2010 by staff
What does this mean for you? If you’re lucky, you have the day off work. And their children have the day off from school.
As Memorial Day and Labor Day, Columbus Day is one of those parties seeking weekend trips, sales, parades and family outings. But what do they really mean?
Obviously, it is in honor of Christopher Columbus, as the story goes, discovered America. But we know that history is only partly true – he became the first European to discover America (Oct. 12, 1492). But it was inhabited by Native Americans.
President Roosevelt proclaimed October 12 as “Columbus Day” in 1937 and 1971, the federal government officially declared the second Monday of October a national holiday.
But Columbus Day means different things to different people. Some Italian-Americans celebrate Columbus Day as a day of pride in their heritage and culture.
In Berkeley, California, which have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day In South Dakota, marks the Day of the Native Americans. Hawaii Discoverer’s Day calls.
In pursuance of the day, the performance artist James Luna (Puyukitchum [Luiseno]) invites the public to “take a picture with a real Indian” on the statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Union Station Plaza in Washington DC. The performance is presented by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, in conjunction with the exhibition, Focus: Collection of Contemporary Native Art.
In our family, we intend to hold for control of the colors of autumn in New York.
I also plan to talk to my children about what it means to be an explorer and an adventurer and how Columbus took many risks to achieve their goal. But be sure to remind them that people already living in America when “discovered.”
How will you celebrate the holiday? What did you tell your children about Columbus?
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