The holiday honoring Christopher Columbus's sighting of America on October 12, 1492, is observed in the states of the United States and also in parts of Canada, in Puerto Rico, and in some cities in Italy and Spain.
Although Columbus was not the first explorer to set foot in the Western Hemisphere, his landing at San Salvador Island in what is now the Bahamas was very important. It opened the way for the settlement of America by Europeans
Columbus Day became a legal holiday in the United States in 1892, 400 years after the famous voyage. It was then called Discovery Day,
Or the Day of the Race . It honors the many different people of Latin America. School children in the larger cities join parades. Fiestas, sometimes lasting several days, are held in the areas with large Indian populations.
After five centuries, Columbus remains a mysterious and controversial figure who has been variously described as one of the greatest mariners in history, a visionary genius, a mystic, a national hero, a failed administrator, a naive entrepreneur, and a ruthless and greedy imperialist.
IDEAS FOR DISCUSSION
- - Once again this year many schools will pause to commemorate Christopher Columbus day and this needs to stop.
- - Columbus initiated the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in early February 1494, first sending several dozen enslaved Tainos to Spain
- - From the very beginning, Columbus was not on a mission of discovery but of conquest and exploitation
- - Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that Columbus's policies in the Caribbean led to "complete genocide"
- - If Indigenous peoples' lives mattered in our society, and if Black people's lives mattered in our society, it would be inconceivable that we would honor the father of the slave trade with a national holiday
- - He also employed the use of violence in the conversion of natives to Christianity forcing them to accept beliefs and values that were alien to them.
- - Columbus didn´t want to proved the earth was round
- - Columbus was likely not the first european to cross the Altlantic ocean
- · + European explorers were people of white supremacy and Christian supremacy who had the mentality that it was alright to dominate, enslave, kill and take from people who were different.
- · + His journey encouraged people to think about humans and the study of life. His findings also advanced technology.
- · + Columbus was known for bravery, inventing civilization and introducing commercialism.
- · + The exchange of language, food, animals and religion was certainly quite beneficial to the Europeans and Native Americans.
- · + Columbus brought foods back to Europe, such as potatoes, corn and tomatoes, which became dietary staples and contributed to population growth.