Monthly Archives: April 2009

Columbus Day No More at Brown University

Early this April the faculty at Brown University voted to rename Columbus Day “Fall Weekend” on the University calendar.  Providence mayor David Cicilline ’83 said that “as an Italian-American,” he took “particular offense” to the decision.   Local Italian American groups were very upset.  “Columbus was the one that opened up this part of the world to Western civilization,” Raymond Dettore, Jr., former president of the Italo-American Club in Providence, told a local paper. Brown faculty acted in response to the clamoring of students, hundreds of whom had petitioned the university “to stop observing Columbus Day, saying Christopher Columbus’s violent treatment of Native Americans he encountered was inconsistent with Brown’s values.”  

Columbus Day, observed on the second Monday in October, has been a federal holiday since 1971. The writing is on the wall…

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