Discover this: Columbus Day isn't about ColumbusRoundup
tags: Columbus Day, Columbus
These days, a good word about Christopher Columbus is about as rare as an insult was 100 years ago.
For one thing, there's the ongoing question of whether a man can really "discover" a continent that is already inhabited. There's the much-repeated charge that he was only in it for the riches; that he was an imperialist, even that he was the founder of the Atlantic slave trade.
In the 1990s, the city of Berkeley actually gave up celebrating Columbus Day altogether and renamed it "Indigenous People's Day."
But whichever way you come down on the Columbus debate, here's the good news: Columbus Day in the United States is not really about Columbus anyway. Nor is it about 1492; in fact, it's about 1892, the year President Benjamin Harrison issued the proclamation establishing a day to honor the "400th anniversary of the discovery of America."
Before that, Columbus wasn't at the forefront of our national mythology. One hundred years earlier, the tercentenary of his landing in the New World had been barely noticed -- except in smallish gatherings...
comments powered by Disqus
- How the Black Power Movement Influenced the Civil Rights Movement
- Nine books to read for Black History Month
- A Bittersweet Homecoming for Egypt’s Jews
- Institutional racism and minimal recognition: Inside Du Bois’ complicated history at Penn
- President Trump's Take on Parasite Echoes an Old Debate Over the Role of Non-American Films at the Oscars
- Gordon Wood Reviews Mary Beth Norton's ‘1774’ for the Wall Street Journal
- Black Perspectives Reviews Black Banking and Women Financial Power Brokers
- A lost history, recovered: Faded records tell the story of school segregation in Virginia
- H.R. McMaster book `Battlegrounds’ coming out in April
- Trump loves ‘Gone With the Wind.’ Historians, not so much.