But not so fast, argue advocates of Indigenous Peoples Day, who say that Columbus was far from a hero. For much of America's history, Italian immigrants have not been considered "white", nor do they identify as "white".
Detroit may be the next city to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day. Here are some of the reasons why.
People holding signs and chanting said the holiday and statue represents oppression for Native Americans.
Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day, the holiday on which his discovery of the Americas is celebrated, can be contentious issues.
To commemorate Columbus's historic voyage, Congress passed a joint resolution on April 30, 1934, which was modified in 1968, to recognize Columbus Day. The NYPD says one person was arrested.
Even though there is a proclamation from the President of the United States, there are some states that do not observe Columbus Day at all. That distinction is generally given to the Norse Viking Leif Eriksson, who is believed to have landed in present-day Newfoundland nearly five centuries before Columbus set sail. If not, then both Christopher Columbus and the Native Americans would fall short of our present measures.
"If people have problems, call your local politician, do a letter writing campaign, sign a petition to have the statue removed if you don't like it", explained Pratt. "And while we can't change the past, we can acknowledge and make that history right today". While Leftists recently have targeted Columbus for ridicule and rejection, historians agree on his monumental impact. Demographics encourage different celebrations. In 1992, Berkeley, Calif., declared October 12 as "Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People" and promoted programs in schools and museums on Native American culture.
"The implementation of Indigenous Peoples' Day has created feelings of pride, heritage and education about what truly happened (because of) Columbus", Frazer said.
"Let's say I'm Irish and you want to change St. Patrick's Day", he said.
The survey showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans - 76 percent - believe that Columbus and other historical figures should be judged by the standards of conduct of their own lifetimes, as opposed to modern standards. "We nourished him to health, and the rest is history", Lakota activist Bill Means told MPR.