Monday, October 13, 2014

Today, America both recognizes and ignores Columbus Day

Posted By on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Today, Oct. 13, 2014, marks the 522nd anniversary (well, technically it was yesterday) of Christopher Columbus's landing on the shores of the Americas. Without getting too deep into the politics of the holiday, which has been federally recognized as such since 1937, we thought it appropriate to share some of today's headlines surrounding the controversial day. 

Several U.S. cities and states do not recognize Columbus Day at all: Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon and South Dakota, the last of which celebrates today as Native Americans Day.

This year, Seattle and Minneapolis joined Berkeley, Calif., in replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day. Berkeley ditched Columbus as an honorary in 1992, and was followed by several other cities.

Portland Public Schools also decided to recognize today as Indigenous People's Day. 

Local historian Larry Cebula also shares on his blog today how Columbus Day became a holiday in the first place.

Meanwhile, the Columbus Citizens Foundation hosts its 70th annual Columbus Day parade with an expected 35,000 participants marching down NYC's Fifth Avenue today.

Columbus Day may be a federally recognized holiday, but who actually gets the day off? 

As the controversy and divide over the holiday's recognition grows, school districts are looking critically at how Columbus's role in American history is being taught, along with the wide achievement gap between Native American students and their peers.

Now for some lighthearted criticism regarding today...

Famous Internet celebri-cat Lil BUB's take on Columbus Day... or rather, ColumBUBs Day.

Seattle-based (and North Idaho native) comic artist The Oatmeal's perspective

No Columbus Day would be complete without some insight from Stephen Colbert! Or some fabulous Columbus Day puns from one, to remain nameless, Inlander staffer:

"Every day is Columbus Day for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets director Chris Columbus!"

"Every day is Columbus Day in hit American city Columbus, Ohio!"

"Every day is Columbus Day for choreographer, domestic violence suspect and former Scandal actor Columbus Short!"

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About The Author

Chey Scott

Chey Scott is the Inlander's Associate Editor, overseeing and contributing to the paper's arts and culture sections, including food and events. Chey (pronounced "Shay") is a lifelong resident of the Spokane area and a graduate of Washington State University. She's been on staff at the Inlander since 2012...