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Pro/Con: Should Christopher Columbus have national holiday?

By Sonny Long
Oct. 6, 2013 at 5:06 a.m.
Updated Oct. 7, 2013 at 5:07 a.m.


• Christopher Columbus' real name is Cristoforo Colombo.

•  The Santa Maria, Columbus' flagship on his 1492 voyage, ran aground and sank.

• Two cities - Seville, Spain, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - claim to have his remains.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 in honor of the 400th anniversary of Columbus' voyage.

SOURCES:,, University of Rochester River Campus library

Columbus Day has been a national holiday in the United States since 1937 and observed well before that.

Since 1971, the holiday has been set on the second Monday in October.

But its observance is not without controversy.

Opponents of the holiday claim that Christopher Columbus is no historic icon for a number of reasons, including his treatment of the natives when he made landfall somewhere in the Caribbean Sea - not in what is now the United States.

Proponents argue that his coming to the New World was historically significant. Italian-Americans also use the day to celebrate their heritage.

Should Christopher Columbus be honored with a national holiday?

PRO: Columbus Day meaningful to Italian-Americans

CON: Columbus' legacy 'steeped in blood, violence and death'



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