Today we remember the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, who in October 1492 landed in the Bahamas and became the first Western European to discover what the Europeans would call the New World.
When Columbus and his crew of approximately 200 sailors left Spain in three crowded ships – the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria – they set their sails toward an unknown horizon. They expected to discover a trade route to India. (Most Europeans at the time knew the earth was round – but they were unaware of the North and South American continents.) Instead of finding a route to Southeast Asia, Columbus and his crew landed on a continent of new opportunities. Columbus’s accidental discovery opened a permanent passage across the Atlantic and redrew the known map of the world.
For years, Campus Reform has covered the trend of colleges across the country replacing Columbus Day with “Indigenous People’s Day.” Fueled by concerns of honoring “colonialism” and “genocide,” universities are opting for scrapping remembrance of the explorer all together.
University of Michigan History and American Culture Professor Gregory Dowd is one of many academics who assert that the country as a whole needs to end Columbus Day recognition completely in favor of Indigenous People’s Day. His view was promoted by the university ahead of the holiday this year.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has cosponsored an amendment to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a new federal holiday.
The measure was introduced Wednesday as an amendment to Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) bill to declare Juneteenth a federal holiday. Johnson is co-sponsoring the amendment with Sen. James Lankford (R-OK).