Columbus Didn't "Discover" Anything!!

Published:

Minneapolis has designated the second Monday of October, the federal Columbus Day holiday, as Indigenous Peoples Day. The city council adopted the plan after hearing concerns that hailing Columbus as the discoverer of America is inaccurate and ignores the history of indigenous people.

Last week, Indigenous Peoples Day supporter and Lakota activist Bill Means told Minnesota Public Radio that the story that Christopher Columbus discovered America was "one of the first lies we're told in public education."

He expanded on that idea Friday.

"We discovered Columbus, lost on our shores, sick, destitute, and wrapped in rags. We nourished him to health, and the rest is history," Means told MPR. "He represents the mascot of American colonialism in the western hemisphere. And so it is time that we change a myth of history."

Similar measures that rename or replace Columbus Day are already in place in other parts of the U.S., from South Dakota to Berkley and other California cities. Several states, such as Alaska, Hawaii, and Oregon, do not observe Columbus Day.

The federal holiday has a long and complex history, including an 1892 proclamation by Benjamin Harrison and its establishment as a federal holiday in 1937. Many came to see Columbus Day "as a way for Italian Americans to be accepted by the mainstream," as NPR's Code Switch blog has reported.

Now the holiday is gaining a new identity in Minneapolis, as part of what the text of the resolution says is the city's effort "to better reflect the experiences of American Indian people and uplift our country's Indigenous roots, history, and contributions."

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.

  • At the time that Columbus stumbled upon North America there were about 100,000,000 people living on the continent.  These people were viewed by these early explorers as wild animals, and apparently, still are today by those who propose that Columbus discovered a country that was already inhabited.  Frankly, the indigenous people simply do not count.  Soon after, there began an institutionalized genocide to exterminate these people that continued until the 1900's and is probably the most successful effort of its kind in the history of the planet.  Let's celebrate, everybody...NOT!

  • It is WAY past time that Frankfort, Kentucky follow the lead of other MAJOR cities and recognize the truth. Does the South American continent celebrate "DeSoto Day" simply because HE "discovered" South America. Everyone knows that Aztec and Mayan cultures had been alive for thousands of years before DeSoto landed there and caused great diseases to kill entire cities. "Columbus Day" in America MUST be decried as a very foul LIE about our Nation's history. It is the PLAIN TRUTH that Columbus did NOT discover this land. I ask the Government of Frankfort to enact the same resolutions as Minneapolis and other cities to replace "Columbus Day" with "Indigenous Peoples Day".