Today we celebrate the discovery of North American by honoring the great Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus. Now in recent years, this holiday has taken a back seat in the working world, however it stills remains a federal holiday, as well as a much anticipated and celebrated day off from school.
But the celebration of Columbus’ discovery of America has come under attack recently and has many people questioning as to if we should still honor this holiday. Why is that? Well if you do a little digging, you realize that there are some significantly controversial topics that surround Columbus and his discovery voyage from Europe to the New World.
First and foremost, Columbus was not the first person to discover North America. It was Leif Ericson, a Norse explorer who first stepped foot in North America almost 500 years prior to Columbus. Oh and here’s the other fact that many of us fail to realize- Columbus never landed, not ever stepped foot in North America! He landed his ships and crew on the island of Hispaniola, which is present day Haiti and the Dominican Republic. That’s not North America!!
So should we actually be celebrating today as Ericson Day instead of Columbus Day? Or maybe Columbus, Ohio or Columbia, South Carolina should really be called Ericson and Ericsonia. Whichever tale you so chose to support, I think it’s safe to say everyone enjoys taking this long weekend to spend with family and friends, regardless of who discovered America. Happy Columbus Day Everyone!