Sunday, October 12, 2014

Discovering North America

522 years ago, Christopher Columbus reached the Americas on October 12, 1492. The landing has been celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States as a Federal Holiday since 1934. It has been fixed to the second Monday in October since 1970 as a result of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

However, Columbus Day has met with a long history of opposition. As a blog article in the Washington Post pointed out, Columbus did not really discover North America, because he never set foot in North America but on various Caribbean islands. More importantly, his brutal ruling at the Caribbean islands where he landed resulted in atrocities against native peoples on the islands. It was a prelude to the indigenous population collapse during the European colonization of the American continents that followed Columbus' "discovery". 

Therefore today people are celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day in Berkeley, California; Native American Day in  South Dakota; a combined Columbus Day and American Indian Heritage Day in Alabama; and Discovery Day in Hawaii and the Bahamas.

Postcard US-2849020 to Philippines shows a map of Native Tribes of North America. 

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