The city of Sandusky, Ohio will no longer observe Columbus Day, city officials say. Going forward, Election Day will now be observed in its place.
According to a report from the Sandusky Register late last month, city commissioners decided on the change at a recent meeting. The change will take effect this year.
“We are swapping them to prioritize Voting Day as a day off so that our employees can vote,” city manager Eric Wobser told the Register. “It’s also because Columbus Day has become controversial, and many cities have eliminated it as a holiday.”
In a post to the City of Sandusky’s Facebook page, the switch was characterized as a way to “celebrate the value of our employees and citizens” by “removing barriers for them to participate in the greatest of American innovations, our democracy.”
As The Hill points out, a number of cities across the country have already stopped observing Columbus Day, and have instead referred to the day as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” as a way to acknowledge the genocide carried out on indigenous people by Western explorers.
In September of last year, the Rapid City Journal listed the top 5 atrocities committed by Columbus, which included: mass subjugation; selling native people into slavery back in Spain; cutting off the hands of natives who didn’t hand over enough gold; systematic cruelty toward native populations; mass genocide.
One horrific account tells of what happened when a group of Native people tried to fight back against the Spaniards.
Facing extermination, the Arawaks organized and attempted to fight back against the Spaniards. But they were little match against the armor, muskets, swords and horses of the Europeans. The Spaniards hung or burned Indians that they took captive. By this point, the Arawaks began committing mass suicides. They fed cassava poison to their infants to save them from the Spanish. In two years, half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead, either through murder, mutilation or suicide. By 1550, there were 500 Indians. By 1650, the Arawaks had been wiped out from the island.
Featured image via The Weekly Challenger