The Red & Black

  • June 18The Red & Black is on hiatus - have a GREAT summer!

  • June 18First Day of School is Tuesday September 4, 2018!

Filed under Opinion

Columbus Day: A Day for Celebration or One to Forget?

As we're off from school today, along with many other state employees, some people may wonder why this day is devoted to the controversial Christopher Columbus.

A monument of the Christopher Columbus, in a section of NYC named for the name, Columbus Circle.

Photo by Creative Commons

A monument of the Christopher Columbus, in a section of NYC named for the name, Columbus Circle.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Lately there has been a lot of controversy over whether or not Columbus Day should be celebrated as a federal holiday or not. Did Columbus really discover the Americas? Does it matter? How much credit should be given to this Italian explorer?

Christopher Columbus was an Italian-born explorer who, in 1492, happened to land in the West Indies while searching for an alternative, Western route from Europe to India. As many of us know, this voyage eventually connected European world with  two entire continents which they hadn’t known existed before. This voyage on the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria would prove to change the history of the world for many reasons. One of these most controversial reasons is that Columbus began to enslave the Native Americans he encountered there, setting a precedent that would eventually lead to the death of hundreds of thousands of Native Americans. This massive depopulation due to disease, murder, and exploitation of natives serves as the biggest argument against celebrating Columbus- he began what would become a genocide.

However, this voyage connected two worlds that had previously little-to-no knowledge of the other’s existence. Columbus set up a trade route that would tremendously influence the connection between East and West and set up the borders and culture currently present in the Americas. If it weren’t for Columbus, Ireland would never have known the potato and the Americas the horse; the goods exchanged along these trade routes quite literally changed the world. The connection created by Columbus would eventually lead the era of colonization which would lead to the establishment of the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Brazil- all of the countries we know today, as the pre-Columbian Americas did not include countries and these countries of the present day were set up by Europeans.

Another point of contention about the American celebration of Columbus Day is that Columbus did not even land on “American” soil- he never even set foot on North America, rather he explored the Caribbean Islands and South America. Here the question arises about why we should celebrate a man who was not directly involved in the creation of America as we know it or participate in any “truly American” historical event.

On the other hand, shouldn’t we celebrate this man who connected the two halves of the world and changed history? If it weren’t for Columbus, would we be here today? If not for anything lose, shouldn’t we celebrate the man who brought us all here today? Couldn’t we just take the day off and not bother about the reasons? It’s up to you to decide: is Columbus Day a day for celebration or just another day?

If you would like to read more on this debate, check out these links:


http://www.history.com/topics/exploration/columbus-controversy

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/learning/should-the-united-states-celebrate-columbus-day.html

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/why-we-celebrate-columbus-day/

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Writer
Amanda Coccia, Staff Reporter
Gr. 12 “I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Evelyn Beatrice Hall
2 Comments

2 Responses to “Columbus Day: A Day for Celebration or One to Forget?”

  1. Sam on October 9th, 2017 10:38 pm

    Love that you brought this issue to The Red & Black, as well as brought the two conflicting views together.

    [Reply]

  2. Karen Varacalli on October 11th, 2017 8:31 am

    Great article and viewpoints. It is great to bring to light these differing points. It is something that we will have to debate and decide in the future.

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Columbus Day: A Day for Celebration or One to Forget?

    A&E

    Kanye West – ye (Album Review)

  • Columbus Day: A Day for Celebration or One to Forget?

    Editorial Board

    Let’s Put Our Trash Cans to Work

  • Columbus Day: A Day for Celebration or One to Forget?

    Opinion

    Should Marching Band be Mandatory?

  • Columbus Day: A Day for Celebration or One to Forget?

    Editorials

    Littering in our High School

  • Columbus Day: A Day for Celebration or One to Forget?

    Editorials

    An Open Letter to the Incoming Class of 2022

  • Columbus Day: A Day for Celebration or One to Forget?

    Opinion

    AP Exams: The Secret Sixth Step to a Five

  • Columbus Day: A Day for Celebration or One to Forget?

    Opinion

    Stomping Out the Competition

  • Columbus Day: A Day for Celebration or One to Forget?

    Opinion

    Should Schools Arm Teachers With Weapons?

  • Opinion

    Simplicity is Key

  • Opinion

    Versatility Makes the Price Worthy

The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School
Columbus Day: A Day for Celebration or One to Forget?