America’s second-least-honored federal holiday, Columbus Day, has suffered a poor reputation ever since the European explorers brought their gross diseases and habits to the Americas. And yet, exploration is exciting and often profitable! How can we get beyond the genocide, religious fanaticism and extremely bad math associated with Cristóbal Colón? By changing the day’s name to something bland and motivational, such as “Exploration Day.” Protest that, liberals and indigenous peoples.
The plan is the brainchild of Karl Frank, Jr., a self-proclaimed “IT guy” and impassioned science enthusiast from St. Louis. “I’m one of those people who drive my friends nuts with my Facebook posts about cool science articles,” he says. As the news of Neil Armstrong’s death broke, Frank heard a passing comment from a news broadcast comparing the first man on the Moon with Columbus, and it got him thinking. And status updating. “I nonchalantly posted on Facebook that instead of Columbus Day, we ought to have a Neil Armstrong Day,” he recalls, “and it snowballed from there.”
Columbia University will become “Exploratorium NYC,” protesters will quit throwing valuable red paint at Columbus statues, and Columbus Circle will hereby be renamed “Exploration Park.” What might you find in the bushes?