Christopher Columbus isn't too popular around these parts any more.
A coalition of 13 Democrats and one Republican coauthored a bill (HF 1727) introduced yesterday that would redo the engraving beneath his statue at the state Capitol heralding him as "Discoverer of America." This comes less than a year after Minneapolis voted to strip Columbus of his holiday on the second Monday of October, renaming it "Indigenous Peoples Day."
Rep. John Purcell (D-Bemidji) authored the bill, and sent out a press release yesterday explaining his decision.
"I'm certain Mr. Columbus was a brave and interesting explorer, but he didn't discover America, he arrived," he writes. "There are so many school kids that come here [the Capitol] to learn about their state, and I want to make sure that we're factually representing our own heritage and history through the monuments and memorials they find here."
The statue has stood at the Capitol since Columbus Day in 1931. Right now the engraving reads:
"To Christopher Columbus Discoverer of America," and underneath it says, "This plaque is placed to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the voyages of Christopher Columbus. His dedication and unyielding commitment initiated the merging of the cultures of the Old and the New Worlds; thereby changing forever the course and history of mankind."
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