The Controversy of Columbus Day


Gabe Franklin

As you may know, there has been a controversy in the celebration of Columbus days for many years. We all remember the poem “in 1942 Columbus sailed the ocean blue”. We were always taught Columbus was the one who discovered America, but comes to find out this is incorrect. The fact is Columbus did not discover America, the Vikings arrived in America before Columbus did, but even before that, native people lived there for around 3000 years before this so-called discovery.

When talking to several Davis high school students, we asked the question, “do you believe we should celebrate Columbus day or indigenous day?” most of the responses were similar to each other saying we should celebrate the indigenous day, because of the way Columbus treated indigenous people when he arrived in America. It is also known that European explorers brought diseases with them to America.

Columbus enslaved many native people when he arrived. When talking to these students I asked what they personally thought of Columbus and one student responded with “He was very smart. He just murdered a lot of natives, I don’t know why we’re celebrating him, the Vikings discovered America before Columbus did, so why aren’t we celebrating the Vikings?”

There are still many people that think of Columbus as a “hero” and think we should still celebrate this holiday. some people that are against celebrating Columbus day have even gone as far as wanting the memorial torn down.

Through the horrible things Columbus had done, he still has had many great achievements and some people against the holiday believe he should receive some credit. Columbus Day was first celebrated in 1792 but was not actually proclaimed an actual holiday until 1937. So what do you think? Should we celebrate Columbus Day or call it something else?