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Over the last week in Western Civilization, we have been learning about the Age of European Exploration. During this time, European countries began seeking out new lands to conquer and new trade routes to travel.

In the United States, it’s no secret that the most well known explorer is Christopher Columbus. We spent a day in class talking about whether Christopher Columbus should have his own holiday or not. Students read two articles, one supporting Columbus, and another criticizing him. After reading the articles, students made their own decisions as to whether or not he deserved his own holiday and the response was very lopsided. Seventy out of 79 students said we need to change or get rid of Columbus Day. There were several key factors that led to their decisions. First, Columbus never actually set foot in the United States: he landed in the Bahamas region. Second, he was responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of Natives in the area. Finally, his calculations were way off for his voyage and he technically didn’t find what he was looking for.

To conclude, students were given the opportunity to review the facts about Columbus and come to a decision themselves if he should be celebrated or not. Most voted to change the holiday to Indigenous Peoples’ Day to celebrate those who suffered through the colonization of the United States.