10 American Colleges That No Longer Observe Columbus Day

Christopher Columbus statue (Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty)
Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty

American colleges and universities around the country are abandoning “Columbus Day” in favor of new holidays. From USC and Kansas State to Harvard, well-known universities are giving Christopher Columbus the cold shoulder.

This week, Campus Reform compiled a list of ten colleges and universities that have canceled Columbus Day. Some institutions have replaced Columbus Day with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” while others have simply done away with the October holiday altogether.

For example, Kansas State University hosted an event on Monday that intentionally crossed out the words “Columbus Day” and replaced them with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

An event calendar on Harvard University’s website lists “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” on Monday, October 14. There is no mention of Columbus Day.

The University of Southern California, Tufts University, Northwestern University, the University of Oregon, Santa Clara University, Oklahoma University, Washington State University, Idaho State University are amongst the other colleges that have done away with Columbus Day in some form.

In February 2017, Breitbart News reported that Pepperdine University was removing a Christopher Columbus statue from campus. The university announced that the Columbus statue was removed from campus in response to evolving attitudes on the historic figure.

“Later, as the impact of the arrival of explorers was assessed more fully, especially as those impacts related to indigenous people, a different view formed,” Pepperdine President Andrew Benton said. “Today, for many, including those within our campus community, stories of conquest and the art associated therewith are painful reminders of loss and human tragedy.”

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