Columbus Day – The Loss of Its Significance


Columbus landing on the shores of what he named San Salvador.

Robert DeDonatis, Staff Writer

Italian explorer Christopher Columbus mistakenly discovered America in 1492 during his search for new trade routes to Asia, and in turn opened up opportunities for all Europeans desiring to come and form would later turn into North America. In memory of Columbus, a holiday was dedicated to him – Columbus Day. Unfortunately for most students in North America, Columbus Day generally is not a day off.

“I feel that Columbus discovering North and South America helped the whole world grow and advance, and helped the Americas grow into what they are today,” freshman Daniel Krulig said.

However, many argue that Columbus’s discovery of the new world does not deserve glory. Their perspective on what happened over half a millennium ago is that the discovery devastated the Native American people. Disapproval with the holiday is caused by the fact that Columbus brought foreign disease along with mass violence and suppression to the Americas. As a result, states with large Native American populations replace Columbus day with Native American Day. It honors Native American cultures and contributions to their respective states and the United States overall. 

“I believe that Colombus Day is meant to celebrate one of the greatest discoveries of our world for humankind. With the discovery of the new world came so many new countries and cultures and ideals. However, for what he did to natives, maybe a change in the day would be appropriate,” junior Mitch Gajardo said.

Columbus may have walked onto American shores uninvited, but in hindsight, it was a price that needed to be paid for the advancement of humans and the world as a whole. He benefited the entire world by discovering the Americas, which led to the blossoming of trade and commerce, causing the whole world to go through a revolution of great accomplishment, productivity and discovery.

Although there are longstanding debates as to whether his actions deserve a celebration, Columbus’s discovery of the Americas was monumental and deserves the proper recognition.