That Controversial Columbus

He may not be a hero anymore, but some Americans still get the day off.

For the most part, Christopher Columbus has been honored in America as a hero, plain and simple. Today he is the subject of much debate, some even calling him "father of the Transatlantic slave trade." Here is how the day has been and is today remembered in its brief and now controversial history:

1) President Benjamin Harrison instituted a national Columbus Day to patriotically celebrate the 400th anniversary of America's discovery. But Italian Americans, who suffered discrimination in 1892, used the new holiday to identify with the great explorer and thus to bolster their standing in U.S. society.

2) Colorado, the first state to celebrate the holiday, was the site of intense protests against Columbus Day in 1989. That year, a group of American Indian Movement activists poured fake blood on a statue of Columbus. A few years later, their protests succeeded in thwarting a Columbus Day Parade in Colorado.

3) Alternative names for the most controversial holiday in America ...

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