October 3, 2006 > Columbus Day
by Linda Stone
In 1934 President Roosevelt first proclaimed Columbus Day as a national holiday. It is always celebrated on the second Monday in October and this year it falls on the 9th. Christopher Columbus' journey across uncharted waters in 1492 and changed the course of history. Many people celebrate Columbus Day as an appreciation of their Italian heritage while others commemorate it as a tribute to the discovery of America.
However, in recent years, a movement to challenge the meaning of this holiday has made some question its legitimacy. For these people Columbus represents an avaricious subjugator who pillaged and enslaved Native Americans. In 1977 at an international conference of American Indians, the idea surfaced that this day should be recognized as Indigenous Peoples Day. Over time, a few municipalities have adopted this ideology.
Although Columbus Day is a national holiday, the cities of Fremont, Newark, Union City and Milpitas will not close their offices. The city of Hayward will close its offices in observance of this day.