On October 11 we in the United States celebrate the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Italian immigrants and their descendants in the U.S. consider Columbus to be a great hero. Others disagree. After examining history books for a bit, I wonder why we have a national holiday celebrating this explorer, thief, and murderer.
In the United States, Columbus Day became a Federal holiday in 1934. In 1892, the four hundredth anniversary, the celebration was taught in rituals and speeches of patriotism. In some states, such as Hawaii and Nevada, it is not a legal holiday. In Berkeley, California, October 11 is celebrated as "Indigenous People's Day" and in South Dakota it is known as "Native American Day".