Monday, October 10th, 2016: Columbus Day
Columbus Day, celebrated on the second Monday of October, remembers Christopher Columbus‘ arrival to the Americas on October 12th, 1492. However, this holiday is controversial because the European settlement in the Americas led to the end of the history and culture of the indigenous peoples.
Columbus is often portrayed as the first European to sail to the Americas, but there is evidence that the first Europeans to sail across the Atlantic were Viking explorers from Scandinavia. He is known as “the discoverer” of the New World, but the land was already populated by indigenous peoples, who had ‘discovered’ the Americas thousands of years before.
Therefore many states now celebrate other events on the day. For example, South Dakota’s official holiday on this date is Native Americans’ Day, while people in Berkeley, California, celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.