Monday’s Question: Columbus Day, Yay or Nay?

I have a friend who thinks Columbus Day is a meaningless holiday. She refuses to credit good old Chris Columbus with discovering America since natives were here long before those three ships sailed the Ocean Blue in fourteen hundred and ninety two (sorry, couldn’t resist :D ). I’m thinking that since she’s half American Indian, that might have something to do with her viewpoint.

So my questions today are: Do you believe that Christopher Columbus “discovered” America? Should we have a Columbus Day holiday? Can you name some potential holidays we could celebrate instead? And finally, if you don’t have to work, how are you spending your extra day off?

20 Comment(s)

  1. I think an argument can be made that America was discovered by the Vikings. But we have more evidence to establish the discovery with Columbus and that’s fine with me. Now about that holiday–we don’t get mail today right?

    terri | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  2. I think we have to give ol’ Chris some credit with making the world more aware of the Americas, but as for “discovering” them–no way. :). Still, I’m for maintaining a sense of celebration for whatever history taught us.

    No day off for me, but the kids are enjoying one so it’s a less active day anyway. I hope everyone has a great day no matter how you view this Monday!

    :) Bryn

    Brynna | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  3. I’m so going to work…you all have a great day off if you’re lucky enough to get one. :)

    Gillian Layne | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  4. We have such little information from this time in history and the little we do have is sometimes very contradictory. I think, as we see today, historians tend to color history in their favorite tones and shades.

    I guess as far as the Europeans were concern he did discover the Americas. I agree that discovery may not be the right word. I think it should be more like introduced, but since we don’t have enough evidence to credit anyone else the ‘discovery’ he’s got the honors in the annals of history.

    In 1492 European countries controlled the seas and they ‘knew’ of the existence of Central Asia and China, thanks to Marco Polo and his father and uncle’s travels, but they never went west, if they had, we probably would have never heard of CC.

    In the end I guess he should at least get credit for letting the old world know about the new one. If anyone else ‘discovered’ the Americas before, they kept it to themselves.

    Happy Columbus day everybody!!!

    Anastasia St. James | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  5. No, aside from the Indians who clearly discovered it YEARS before Chris, there is also the Vikings. I think what Chris discovered was PR SPIN. He didn’t want barbarians in a rowboat getting credit for discovering the greatest place on earth–or barbarians in a loincloth either. So he took the credit for it, so he could be the poster boy: the version we’d want to have discovering America, the enlightened educated handsome European.

    I’d rather celebrate just about anyone else. *LOL* A puritan even, or one of the “lesser” founding fathers (who doesn’t have his own day yet) like Ben Franklin or John Adams. I would also like to celebrate the guy who discovered rum or pina coladas.

    And I don’t have the day off which is probably why I don’t think a lot of Chris.

    Hellion | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  6. It’s cloudy with a chance of leaves and acorns, finally fall seems to be upon us. My Choctaw ancestors wouldn’t like this whole idea of celebrating Columbus much, and I’m kind of with Terri on the Viking thing, but oh well, it’s a day off for state and federal employees, right? ;)

    Renee | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  7. Bryn, at least it’s a relaxed day. We’re in full force here, whether I like it or not. I really wanted to get some writing done. Maybe tonight.

    Renee | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  8. Gillian, do the kids have school today too? I remember a time when everyone had Columbus Day off, as well as several other days like Presidents Day. I’m not sure what has changed.

    Renee | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  9. Ana, I think you’re right. Historians often look through rose colored glasses.

    Renee | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  10. Hellie, I like your way of thinking. Columbus is a sore point with my innerself.

    Renee | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  11. Terri, I’m thinking that the Native Americans’s ancestors discovered the Americas long before the Vikings or Columbus. And, you’ll be getting three days worth of mail tomorrow so no real holiday for your postal workers.

    Laurie Faelan | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  12. Good point, Brynna. I guess we can credit him with bringing this part of the world to the notice of the Europeans so they could all fight over ownership. ;)

    Hope you have a peaceful day without all the young men and women. :D

    Laurie Faelan | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  13. Have a good day, Gillian, and thanks for stopping by!

    Laurie Faelan | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  14. You’re right, Ana. He did indeed do that. And he was pretty brave making this journey when the result was unknown and potentially fatal.

    Laurie Faelan | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  15. LOL, Hellion! Yeah, I agree for the most part. How about an American Indian day since they lost the most with Chris’s discovery?

    Sorry you didn’t get the day off.

    Laurie Faelan | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  16. Yes, Renee, for state and federal employees. Would be nice if holidays were for everyone.

    Laurie Faelan | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  17. I’d love to see a Ben Franklin day or how about an Abigail Adams or Susan B. Anthony day? We don’t have any women holidays, do we? That seems a little biased to me. :)

    Brynna | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  18. I vote for Susan B. Anthony. :D

    Laurie Faelan | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  19. Oh! So that’s why the post office was closed. I had no idea.

    Personally, I say scrap the day entirely. Not that I argue with his “finding” it, because he was the reason for the massive invasion by Europeans, but because I don’t think the invasion needs to be celebrated.

    Alice Audrey | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

  20. I agree with you, Alice. I’d personally like to do away with it. Other than giving a day off to federal and state employees, it’s just an excuse for another retail sale day.

    Laurie Faelan | Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

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