National Explorers Day

While all American school children are taught that Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, few are aware that not only the Viking Age explorers are proven to have made it to North America, but, that, possibly, many other explorers, traders, and colonists may have also visited our shores in truly ancient times. Even fewer are aware that Columbus never reached the mainland. Historical, epigraphical, genetic, cartographic, and archeological evidence accumulated over the past century of so indicates there may have been numerous ancient cultures that crossed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to visit the Americas. Columbus was not first, just the first to be recognized.

Many Native Americans protest the celebration of Columbus Day and many States and municipalities either do not recognize it as a legal holiday or celebrate the date under a different name and with different ideas or reasons.

This petition proposes to change the name of the holiday to one that all can support and celebrate: Explorers Day. Many people, not only in our history, but also living and working today deserve recognition for their explorations into areas of study that either once did or continue to enlighten mankind.

Those who believe that Columbus deserves celebration may still celebrate his great accomplishment as a navigator. Those who feel Meriwether Lewis and William Clark deserve recognition for their exploration of the American west can do so. Those who believe that Watson and Crick should be recognized for their revolution in genetics may celebrate them. Those who think Chief Joseph or Squanto deserve celebration may do so. All who explore new areas of study and thus contribute to the expansion of mankind's knowledge and peaceful coexistence deserve recognition, not just the most famous navigator.

Please consider adding your voice to this plea.
We the undersigned hereby request that the Members of the Congress of the United States of America act to consolidate and combine the proclaimed day of recognition for Leif Eriksen, October ninth, and the Federal holiday known as "Columbus Day", the second Monday in October, and to rename the combined day of recognition "National Explorers Day", and, further, to retain the latter date for the combined holiday.

While all school children in the United States of America are taught that Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, few are aware that not only the Viking Age explorers are proven to have made it to North America, but, that, possibly, many other explorers, traders, and colonists may have also visited our shores in truly ancient times. Even fewer are aware that Columbus never reached the mainland. Historical, epigraphical, genetic, cartographical, and archeological evidence accumulated over the past century of so indicates there may have been numerous ancient cultures that crossed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to visit the Americas. Columbus was not first, just the first to be recognized.

Many Native Americans protest the celebration of Columbus Day and many States and municipalities either do not recognize it as a legal holiday or celebrate the date under a different name and with different ideas or reasons.

This National Explorers Day petition requests of you, the Members of the Congress of the United States of America to change the name of the holiday to one that all Americans can support and celebrate: Explorers Day. Many people, not only in our history, but also living and working today deserve recognition for their explorations into areas of study that either once did or continue to enlighten mankind.

Those who believe that Columbus deserves celebration may still celebrate his great accomplishment as a navigator. Those who feel Meriwether Lewis and William Clark deserve recognition for their exploration of the American west can do so. Those who believe that Watson and Crick should be recognized for their revolution in genetics may celebrate them. Those who think Chief Joseph or Squanto deserve celebration may do so. All who explore new areas of study and thus contribute to the expansion of mankind's knowledge and peaceful coexistence deserve recognition, not just the most famous navigator.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. We ask respectfully that you act on it.
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