Landing of columbus

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Landing of columbus


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Image: “The Landing of Columbus” painted in 1846 by John Vanderlyn and currently on display in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. (Links to an external site.) Introduction: Did you know Martin Luther King Jr. and Christopher Columbus are the only two non-presidential individuals to have a federal holiday named after them? Let that factoid sink in for a minute—Martin Luther King Jr– a Southern preacher and an iconic civil rights hero who protested against segregation and racism through nonviolence and the other individual is Christopher Columbus who is either celebrated as a heroic modern navigator who defied all odds and “discovered” the Americas or a greedy murderous pirate who spread colonialism and genocide. Because of the latter, Columbus Day as a celebration has come under fire in the last couple decades because many people especially historians started to separate the man from the myth and held him responsible for spreading violence, racism, and ultimately genocide. Many communities and more than 27 states across America have eliminated Columbus Day as a holiday all together and replaced the day with “Indigenous Day” as a way to bring awareness to Native Americans. However, some states and people continue to celebrate Christopher Columbus and question whether taking away their right to celebrate the man will actually lead to any effective and positive changes. So where do you stand on this topic of Columbus Day?

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