Columbus Day continues to cause controversy across the country

PHOTO: Christopher Columbus monument in Newburgh, New York, Photo Date: 8/26/2012 Cropped Photo: Alexisrael / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 via MGN Online

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) -- A myriad of opinions continue to arise every year Columbus Day hits the calendar on the second Monday in October.

Descendants of Native Americans celebrate the day as Indigenous People's Day while some Italian-Americans believe the holiday should stay as it is.

Here is how the holiday is being celebrated in various parts of the country:

New York City

A parade took place in midtown Manhattan to celebrate the day. Many Americans of Italian descent waved American and Italian flags in honor of the occasion but "long stretches of the parade route were empty of spectators," according to the Associated Press.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, an Italian-American himself, has set up a commission that is considering whether to keep Christopher Columbus' statue at Columbus Circle intact or to remove it.

In September, the statue was vandalized with graffiti and red painted hands.


The United States' oldest Columbus statue was vandalized six weeks ago. The city is surveying residents to see how it should proceed. The government is also working to restore the monuments. The city's Francis Scott Key statue was also doused in red paint.

San Antonio, Texas

A college in the San Antonio area is paying tribute to the heritage of South Texas. Palo Alto College teamed up with the Texas Indigenous Council and the American Indians to celebrate Indigenous People's Day with a ceremony and a drum circle. These festivities are all a part of the college's Heritage Month.

Providence, Rhode Island

Christopher Columbus' statue in the capital city of Rhode Island was vandalized with red and white paint. The vandalism contained an expletive word next to Columbus' name. The city removed the paint after power-washing the statue.

Borger, Texas

American flags that were put out for display by a Boy Scouts troop specifically for Columbus Day were burned on Monday. The flags were worth at least $150. Police are investigating the incident as theft and criminal mischief.

Portland, Maine

In September, city councilors in the city approved a measure calling for the city to adopt the name "Indigenous People's Day" on the same day Columbus Day is celebrated. Christopher Columbus' statue still stands in downtown Maine.

Los Angeles, California

The city's council voted to remove Columbus Day from the city's calendar in August. According to the LA Times, regardless of the name the holiday is still a paid holiday for government employees. The Christopher Columbus statue in the city is also covered up.

Iowa City and Johnston County, Iowa

On a statewide level, Columbus Day will continue to be recognized. But in Iowa City and Johnston County, the holiday is now known as Indigenous People's Day. It is a a day to "reflect on the rich culture of indigenous people," according to CBS 2 Iowa.

Austin, Texas

The city council says the city of Austin has a "responsibility to oppose the systematic racism towards Indigenous People in the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty and income inequality, exacerbating disproportionate health, education, and social crises."

Because of this, the city changed their Columbus Day celebrations to Indigenous People's Day. The city also hopes Austin public schools teach Indigenous People's history to students.

El Paso, Texas

A Tigua Indian Reservation statue was vandalized on Monday. The FBI is looking into whether the vandalism classifies as a hate crime. The statue was covered in red paint before crews cleaned it up later in the morning. A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered for any information on what happened.

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