L.A. May Drop Columbus Day for ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Los Angeles may become the latest city to ship off Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day–and a new city employee day off–if councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s idea eventually is approved.

O’Farrell proposed  the motion on Friday. The action forces staff to research what it would take to institute Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a legal holiday in L.A. according to the Los Angeles Times. If passed, the new paid day off for city employees could replace Columbus Day.

Columbus Day was celebrated as far back as 1792 according to History.com, but wasn’t made an official federal holiday until a decree from President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. The day commemorates the 1492 landing of Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus in the New World.

Berkeley dropped Columbus Day back in 1992 the New York Times reported at the time, citing the city’s reputation for political correctness. Since then a few others cities have followed suit.

The Times further reported in the 1992 article:

The city’s declaration underscored a revisionist notion that Columbus was no hero but instead a self-serving colonialist whose arrival in the New World led to the death of millions of American Indians.

The declaration has been recognized by the school board, which plans to modify Columbus’s image in history classes and textbooks.

In 2014 Seattle formally threw out Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Breitbart News reported in October of this year that nine U.S. cities are making the move. Those cities include: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Portland, Oregon; St. Paul, Minnesota; Olympia, Washington.

A Denver woman told the Seattle Times that back in 1992 that a confrontational protest against the Denver Columbus Day parade blocked the parade route for several hours. Denver didn’t see another Columbus Day parade until the new millennium.

Other days replacing Columbus Day include Native American Day in South Dakota, and Discoverer’s Day in Hawaii that, according to History.com, celebrates Polynesian settlers.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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