Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1937 to commemorate his landing in, or 'discovering' the 'New World'.
It was celebrated in New York long before 1937.
In recent years there has been controversy and efforts to remove CD as a holiday. Indeed, the state of California is trying to rename it 'Native American Day'.
In Berkley, they call it 'Indigenous Peoples Day'. To some Native American Tribes October 12 is 'Native American Recognition Day'.
It has been celebrated across the country with parades and other festivities, I think, more to celebrate the Italian-American Heritage, even though he sailed under a Spanish flag. It was a brave and major accomplishment, as many thought he would fall off the edge of a flat earth.
Parades will be held this week-end from New York to San Francisco.
Still, the Native Americans have a point. You must have seen images or tee-shirts with a picture of Geronimo holding a rifle and the caption, "Homeland Security. Fighting terrorism since 1492." See their point?
Why should they celebrate over 500 years of domination, exploitation, and worse?
Personally, the holiday has always been about my Italian Heritage.
Since moving west and and having Native American acquaintances and friends, I have become more aware of their culture and of their hardships since Christopher arrived.
I have visited or attended many festivities like powwows, rodeos, museums.
I have been a welcomed visitor.
They are proud of their heritage, as I am, as we all are. If our country is great because it is a 'melting pot' of peoples and their cultures from everywhere in the world, we will surely include those who were here first.
On Columbus Day, I will be thankful for my new friends, and perhaps share some lasagna.