The second Monday in October is celebrated nationally as Columbus Day, which has been a federal holiday since 1937.
Originally designated to celebrate Christopher Columbus’s “discovery” of America, post offices and banks are closed, and stores hold major sales. Children are taught that Columbus is a hero, but since then, we’ve learned the history of America on our terms and realized that the picture they painted for us wasn’t exactly as accurate as we once thought.
Armed with this knowledge, many have fought (and won) over the last decade to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead. Here are 10 lies and truths about Christopher Columbus that made us decide to throw away Columbus Day forever.
Columbus Didn’t Discover Sh*t
For starters, Christopher Columbus didn’t discover anything. How can you discover a land that ALREADY HAS inhabitants?! On his first trip in 1492, Columbus encountered the indigenous Lucayan Taíno/Arawak on Guanahani (today’s San Salvador Island in the Bahamas).