Many nations celebrate Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas as a holiday.
It's Día de la Raza in many parts of Latin America, Día de las Culturas in Costa Rica, Discovery Day in the Bahamas, Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain, as Día de las Américas in Uruguay and as Día de la Resistencia Indígena in Venezuela.
In the US, Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1934. Why so late?
Not for any nationalistic reasons, Columbus made it to the Americas but never to what would be the United States mainland.
Italian-Americans observe Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage.
Due to lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, Congress and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the federal holiday in 1934.
Catholic immigrants faced discrimination from groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Like others, Catholics developed activist community organizations to fight back. The Knights of Columbus was formed and named as such because it saw Columbus as a symbol of Catholic immigration.
That was all fine and well in the early 20th century where Catholics faced bigotry from the greater culture but that discrimination no longer exists (at least, we hope).
It's time to turn around and give the proper respect to the Native Americans that were here when old Columbus came on over.
To: President of The United States, The U.S. Congress, The U.S. Senate
We, the undersigned, petition the President of the United States, The U.S. Congress, and The U.S. Senate to hereby change "Columbus Day" to "Native American Day".
Christopher Columbus did not discover America, he discovered Native Americans living peacefully in their homeland. And, as history has taught us, Mr. Columbus was not even the first to visit America from Europe.
So, then why do we continue to disgrace Native Americans by throwing this "National Holiday" up in their faces? It's about time we realize that as Americans we are continuing the hate cycle by allowing this to continue. We should be thanking Native Americans for taking us in and sharing with us their ancient wisdom.
We have never had a Native American holiday in the U.S. and that is truly a shame. We deem anything we want as a "Federal Holiday" if only for the benefit of government employees having yet another 3-day weekend.
Let us give credit where credit is due. We urge you to change "Columbus Day" to "Native American Day".