In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to proclaim Columbus Day as a federal holiday. Millions of people across the USA chose to honor Columbus and all that he accomplished. He had many qualities that seemed to be admirable and a lot of people were proud of him. He gave hope across the land in dark times. Today, many tend to use Columbus as their scapegoat for sins that might have been committed over 500 years ago by the non-Native Americans. Columbus is also used as a scapegoat for many other reasons. There’s now even a big debate as to if we should or should not celebrate Columbus Day. So, why should we celebrate Columbus Day if he wasn’t the one who founded America completely and might not have been the perfect leader?
Check out these 10 Reasons Why We Celebrate Columbus Day and you can decide for yourself as to if we should or shouldn’t after reading them.
10. Columbus is a hero
Like it or not, Columbus is a hero. Many of us might not even be here today if he would not have discovered the new world. I am not saying that he was perfect. He did make a few mistakes. What great leader doesn’t make mistakes? However, despite his mistakes we owe him a lot for discovering the new world.
9. Columbus Day is an American tradition
We celebrate other heroes such as Martin Luther King and President’s day. It’s a tradition to celebrate them. Imagine if we just stopped suddenly celebrating Martin Luther King’s Day. Martin Luther was another famous one who wasn’t perfect but we still remember him for everything that he did. Other traditions that we tend to have and celebrate include mothers and fathers day plus Christmas. America just would not seem right if we didn’t celebrate those holiday’s because it’s a very important tradition.
8. Columbus was brave and started the expedition
They didn’t have GPS or any of the fancy technology that we have today. He might have been the first one to discover all of America but was the first to start the expedition to discover new land. He took a chance along with all of the people on board with him. He could have just stayed at his location and let many questions go unanswered. Regardless of not having any technology or ways to communicate with others if they needed help, they ventured out and sailed the ocean, unsure of what would happen to them.
7. In 1892 the Pledge of Allegiance was written to honor him
In the year 1892, when President Benjamin Harrison declared Columbus Day a legal holiday, the Pledge of Allegiance was written. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in honor of the first voyage that he did and to celebrate his 400th anniversary. We might have to write the Pledge of Allegiance again if we decided to stop as a nation celebrating Columbus Day.
6. The exchange culturally between Europe and America started
After Columbus discovered America, a lot of the European immigrants decided to come. They brought their music, art, philosophy, medicine and many other things to America. The USA was shaped due to a lot of the contributions from the European culture. Some of the contributions include the fact that all men are created equal. Without those contributions we might not see each other as equal or be free like we are today.
5. He’s been respected for a very long time
Columbus has been admired for a very long time. Across the USA you will find that there are more monuments dedicated to Columbus than anyone else. Some of the monuments include the Statue of Liberty and a monument that is located in New York City that was created by one of the Italian brothers who also helped with carving the Lincoln Memorial. It might even show a sign of disrespect to the artists who took their time to make these monuments. Would we look at the Statue of Liberty the same again if Columbus Day wasn’t a federal holiday?
4. Columbus Day is one of the oldest holidays in the USA
Observing Columbus Day started back in the 18th century. On October 12,1792was when it was first celebrated. The New York Society of Tammany also honored Columbus of his first voyage with the marking of his 300th anniversary. Again, it would be like breaking American tradition if we stopped celebrating Columbus Day.
3. Columbus sailed regardless of the harsh conditions on the ship
What most might not know is that Columbus sailed with 90 men on three different ships. These ships were called the Nina, Santa Maria and the Pinta. People might think that they might have had easy sailing but actually it was just the opposite. They continued to sail regardless that most of them were sick, were faced with extreme exhaustion and famine. If they would have stopped sailing then they wouldn’t have discovered America. They also suffered with dehydration.
2. Currently 22 States don’t celebrate Columbus Day
Due to the debates about Columbus Day and how some people feel about him, 22 states don’t celebrate it. Some of the states that don’t celebrate Columbus Day include Oregon, Hawaii and Alaska. On the plus side, ever since the year 1990 South Dakota has been celebrating Native American Day. Again, what would happen to history if we all stopped celebrating it?
1. Take advantage of Columbus Day sales
Rather or not you disagree with Columbus Day you can still take advantage of the Columbus Day sales. It’s a great time to start buying for Christmas and save. Maybe this is why some states still celebrate Columbus Day. They don’t want the sales to stop.
The fact is, it would change history if the USA decided to stop celebrating Columbus Day all together. Sometimes I wonder if that is actually a good idea. Personally, I am not such a fan of Columbus but I do have some respect for him for just his voyage.