ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Columbus Day came and went like a falling leaf, not like in the old days with a parade and celebration.
Even on The Hill it was quiet. The Columbus Day parade this year is scheduled for Sunday the 14th. But what do Hill residents think of the proposal to change Columbus Day to Explorer’s Day?
“Because of the Italian heritage here on the Hill, I think it should be kept and St. Louis has a lot of Italian influence so I don’t know why we should get rid of it,” Debbie Rizzo of Rizzo’s restaurant said.
Waitress Gabriella Pica agrees.
“Christopher Columbus is just known around the world and then they’re going to take his name off and make it Explorers’ Day? Like, what explorers? Like an All Saints’ Day? Is it going to be like that, but Explorers’ Day? No, Christopher Columbus Day.”
Proponents of the change to Explorers’ Day say Columbus’ reputation has been tainted by slavery, imperialism, the destruction of Native American culture, and bringing European diseases to America.
But a milkman on The Hill isn’t so sure.
“Well, a lot of explorers came in and did a lot of things, I don’t know if he was any better or worse than anyone else,” he said.
Supporters of the change say explorers such as Neil Armstrong, or Lewis and Clark would all get their day along with Columbus on Explorers’ Day.