Columbus, Ohio not celebrating Columbus Day

Aug. 13 2014 a replica of the Santa Maria Christopher Columbus' ship sits high and dry in its dock awaiting a dismantling in Columbus Ohio. This year the city named after Columbus himself will do away with the

Columbus Day will no longer be celebrated in namesake Ohio city

Read comments from 614now readers about changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.

Franklin Park off East Broad Street was transformed into a horticultural exposition that rivaled both Disney's EPCOT and World's Fair. Columbus Day is not almost as universally observed as many other notable dates on the calendar. The mayor's office has said this decision is not connected to the nationwide movement to rename Columbus Day as "Indigenous Peoples Day" because of Columbus's enslavement and exploitation of native people.

But it became the subject of protests a year ago over Columbus's enslavement of native people, with the protest's organizer supporting renaming the city itself.

A wholesale replacement of Columbus Day with one celebrating indigenous peoples in Pennsylvania is unlikely, to say the least.

President Benjamin Harrison started celebrating Columbus Day in 1892 to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus' landing in the Bahamas. As an Italian-American it feels good that there is an official holiday that is nominally about us.

Just this year, at least a dozen United States cities - including San Francisco and Cincinnati - chose to stop observing Columbus Day and will instead celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday.

The mayor's office announced the decision in a brief, unceremonious news release Friday, avoiding the politics that have traditionally accompanied changes to the controversial federal holiday in other cities.

The largest city named for Christopher Columbus - Columbus, Ohio - has called off its observance of the divisive holiday that honors the explorer.

President Trump's proclamations for Columbus Day this year and in 2017 have lacked any acknowledgment of the plight of Native Americans, in contrast to former president Barack Obama, who noted in his 2015 proclamation that we "also recognize the suffering inflicted upon Native Americans and we recommit to strengthening tribal sovereignty and maintaining our strong ties".

A follow-up tweet on Monday followed the same tack, ignoring the indigenous peoples of the Americas, but praising Columbus's "accomplishments as a navigator" (Columbus thought he had landed in Asia).

Today, Columbus Day is not celebrated at all.

"We stand behind the Christopher Columbus name and will continue to do so here in Pittsburgh", Guy Costa, the city's chief operations officer and a parade supporter, said recently.

So what did Columbus really do?

While many schoolchildren learn about the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, less appealing details of Columbus' journeys include the enslavement of Native Americans and the spread of deadly diseases.

When is Columbus Day 2018? Joseph Contino, board member of the Columbus Italian Festival, told the Associated Press. Hawaii celebrates Discoverers' Day on the second Monday of October.

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