Columbus, Ohio cancels Columbus Day

Frederick Owens
October 9, 2018

Christopher Columbus's spirit of determination & adventure has provided inspiration to generations of Americans.

Franklin Park off East Broad Street was transformed into a horticultural exposition that rivaled both Disney's EPCOT and World's Fair.

It also emphasizes the values Americans share with him: 'On Columbus Day, we commemorate the achievements of this skilled Italian explorer and recognize his courage, will power, and ambition - all values we cherish as Americans'.

Tyrone Smith, the director of the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio, said the city's move to not celebrate Columbus Day is "a victory for everyone".

But this year, the explorer's namesake city in OH is saving a little money: Columbus has canceled its observation of Columbus Day altogether. Well, schools and post offices are closed on Columbus Day, as are most banks. Ohio's capital city, population 860,000, will be open for business Monday after observing Columbus Day probably "for as long as it had been in existence", said Robin Davis, a spokeswoman for Democratic Mayor Andrew Ginther.

But the proclamations from the last two presidents couldn't be more different. Instead, they are skipping the holiday to better honor veterans. "We thought that was something that was important". "Columbus Day is a relic of an outdated and oversimplified version of history", Somerville mayor Joe Curtatone wrote on Facebook.

Ever since Berkeley, California, became the first USA city to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in the early 1990s, Americans have been re-examining the explorer's role in our nation's history.

More news: Manchester United boss slams the media after victory over Newcastle

While Suozzi would support efforts to expand Indigenous Peoples' Day, "I just don't think it should be necessarily on Columbus Day", he said.

Indigenous Peoples Day is the same day as Columbus Day, which this year is on October 8, 2018.

In Columbus, the explorer had been a point of pride in the 19th century and into the 20th, when three statues were erected in his honor over the decades.

"If you're mayor of a city and its name is Columbus, why wouldn't you capitalize on that?" City leaders changed the holiday a few years ago after concerns about Christopher Columbus's treatment of native people.

So what did Columbus really do?

"It has been well documented, even in Columbus' diaries, that he and his men committed the most inhumane and grotesque atrocities against indigenous men, women and children".

"I appreciate that for many people, including some Italian-Americans, the celebration of Columbus is viewed as belittling the suffering of indigenous peoples at the hands of Europeans".

National parks: The National Park Service is open on Columbus Day.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER