Indigenous Peoples Day? Italians say stick with Columbus

Circa 1510 A map of the four voyages of the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus

While Columbus Day remains a federal holiday, celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day is an important recognition of the diversity of histories that make up America's story.

Nearly all schools are open on Columbus Day.

Curl says, this idea of having the Bay Area as the centerpiece of Columbus Day celebrations did not sit well with him and a lot of other native people. Nevertheless, Italians claim him today and Columbus Day is a good chance to recognize what Italians have contributed to America, and the world.

De Blasio appointed a committee to evaluate whether monuments to certain historical figures should be removed, prompting a backlash from fellow Italian-Americans who vowed to defend the Columbus statue, which has stood over Columbus Circle for more than a century.

They're told that Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas, leading to colonies on this side of the pond.

Later Monday morning, the local Knights of Columbus chapter will unveil a statute of Christopher Columbus that they say has been planned for at least 3 years.

New Haven resident Imani Williams took the middle ground, though she was disturbed to hear of the vandalism to the statue outside the window of her Wooster Square home. "It's unfortunate because I did go up there and I did see it all smashed". Some Columbus statues have been vandalized and destroyed over the years. Hawaii observes something called Discoverer's Day.

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However, the gesture to recognize indigenous people rather than the man who opened the Americas to European domination also has prompted howls of outrage from some Italian-Americans, who say eliminating their ethnic pride is culturally insensitive, too. Most observances where held to mark Columbus' historic voyage. The explorer also sent a number of natives to Spain to be sold, and many died en route.

Several states, including Vermont, Minnesota and Alaska have replaced the second Monday in October with "Indigenous People's Day" as an alternative to Columbus Day. Leonard Riggio, the founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble, is this year's Columbus Day Parade Grand Marshal.

Sunday's rally started out as planned, then three protesters - two dressed in faux chains, with the third wearing a Klan outfit - tried to disrupt the proceedings. One wore a hooded white sheet.

The New York Post reports the men in chain as screaming, "We've got nothing to lose but our chains!"

Police escorted them away and the ceremony continued, 1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported.

"This is a historic statue just like the one in New York City".

Fifth Avenue between East 47th and East 72nd streets will be closed for the parade.

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