Columbus, Ohio, Is Not Observing Columbus Day This Year

The News Gazette Charlene Teters speaks during an indigenous peoples day event on Monday Oct. 8 2018. Image

The News Gazette Charlene Teters speaks during an indigenous peoples day event on Monday Oct. 8 2018. Image

Some say it should be celebrated as Indigenous Peoples Day to recognize that Native Americans were here first. Instead, the city will close its offices on Veterans Day on November 12, according to a report from a local NBC News affiliate.

All PennDOT Driver License and Photo Centers will be closed statewide- including the center in Butler.

It was all for Christopher Columbus, billed as America's "centerpiece" celebration marking the 500th anniversary of his voyage to the New World in 1492.

The mayor's office said the decision wasn't made because many US cities are replacing their observance of Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day, but rather because the city doesn't have the budget to give its 8,500 employees off on both that and Veterans Day.

"It means that we're changing our focus away from the idea that Columbus discovered America when there were already thousands of people who lived here, and celebrating the fact that indigenous people have survived", Wood said.

"There should never have been a Columbus Day because just like Hitler he tried to commit near genocide for the Indians", said Rita J Martinez, one of the organizers for the abolish Columbus Day group. No movement has coalesced in Congress to rethink the public holiday, which was popularized by Franklin D. Roosevelt and later fixed to the second Monday in October by a 1968 law.

The News Gazette Charlene Teters speaks during an indigenous peoples day event on Monday Oct. 8 2018. Image
The News Gazette Charlene Teters speaks during an indigenous peoples day event on Monday Oct. 8 2018. Image

According to the Unitarian Universalist Association, the idea of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day was born in 1977, at a United Nations -sponsored conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on discrimination against indigenous populations in the Americas. Most U.S. cities carry multiple references to Christopher Columbus-and not just on statues and street names, but the cities themselves.

He says the goal is to educate, and when his people hear it called Columbus Day, that's what they try to do. But one historian who knew Columbus personally, Bartolemé de las Casas, published A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies in 1552. She said she petitioned the University to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day when she was a student.

It's likely the first time in the city's history that it hasn't observed Columbus Day, a spokesperson for the mayor told NBC News. "If it is proposed to city council that this be changed for next year, that is something council would have to take up". We are proud of our heritage.

National parks: The National Park Service is open on Columbus Day.

"As we mark this rich history, we must also acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided on this land prior to the arrival of European newcomers", Obama wrote, citing "violence, deprivation, and disease".

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