WASHINGTON, (UPI) — It was Columbus Day in the United States Monday but not everyone agrees a holiday should be named for the explorer, and his legacy remains a matter of debate.
Columbus, who landed in what is now the Bahamas 520 years ago, was long celebrated for “discovering” America.
But it is known he was not the first European to reach the Americas and South Dakota scrapped the holiday 22 years ago in favor of Native American Day, commemorating the American Indians who were nearly wiped out when Europeans began colonizing the continents, ABC News reported Monday.
Many Italian-American communities mark Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage and contributions to life in the United States, ABC said.
The United States has more than 30 cities and townships bearing Columbus’ name.