Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Columbus' Columbus Day: From AmeriFlora '92 to its cancellation

Columbus' Columbus Day: From AmeriFlora '92 to its cancellation

But organizers of the Columbus Italian Festival think they just wanted to be politically correct in the wake of last year's national push to abolish the longstanding holiday. In many communities, it's a day when Italian-Americans celebrate their heritage.

Just this year, at least a dozen USA cities - including San Francisco and Cincinnati - chose to stop observing Columbus Day and will instead celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday. The bond market as well as state and federal offices will open back up on Tuesday.

But Columbus Day is somewhat of an oddity among holidays, and not only because of the controversy over whether or not we should honor the famous explorer who "discovered" America in the first place.

Indigenous Peoples Day is the same day as Columbus Day, which this year is on October 8, 2018. This is the first time the city will recognize Veterans Day as a city holiday in which municipal officers are closed.

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A similar effort twice failed in Cincinnati before a vote Wednesday finally recognized Columbus Day as the renamed Indigenous Peoples Day. Public schools in Columbus are open on both Columbus Day and Veterans Day, according to the school district's calendar.

"As we mark this rich history, we must also acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided on this land prior to the arrival of European newcomers", he wrote. "Oh, why?" Columbus asks, to which the chief replies, "Columbus Day". As an Italian-American it feels good that there is an official holiday that is nominally about us.

In Columbus, the explorer had been a point of pride in the 19th century and into the 20th, when three statues were erected in his honor over the decades. City leaders changed the holiday a few years ago after concerns about Christopher Columbus's treatment of native people. We took red crayons to the crusader flag, never realizing then that it was the same color as the blood our ancestors shed during colonization at the hands of Columbus and his Spanish conquistadors.

The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and other major USA markets are all open like usual on Columbus Day.

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For the most part, businesses, stores and restaurants will be open on October 8, but you'll have to double check with those in your town individually to make sure. Some cities have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.

Ohio's capital city announced the move late last week, issuing a short news release to note that its offices are open on Monday, and that trash collection and parking laws will be handled as usual.

"It's really an Italian holiday", Suozzi told me.

It's not only Native populations that are harmed when we continue to celebrate Columbus year after year.

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