Survey shows most Americans support celebrating Columbus Day

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CNS) —
A new survey shows that almost six in 10 Americans, or 57 percent, believe that
celebrating Columbus Day is a “good idea,” while only 29 percent oppose the

Almost two-thirds of respondents
who said they were Catholic, or 65 percent, expressed a “favorable” or “very
favorable” opinion of Columbus and the national holiday that honors him.
Overall, the poll found that Americans support Columbus and the observance of
Columbus Day by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.

The survey results were
released Oct. 3 by the Knights of Columbus, which is based in New Haven. The Marist
Poll conducted the survey, funded in partnership with the Knights of Columbus.

Columbus Day is a
national holiday in many countries in the Americas and elsewhere to officially
celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas Oct.
12, 1492. The federal holiday in the U.S. this year is Oct. 9.

The survey showed that an
overwhelming majority of Americans — 76 percent — believe that Columbus and
other historical figures should be judged by the standards of conduct of their
own lifetimes, as opposed to modern standards. Sixteen percent disagreed.
Fifty-six percent view Columbus either “favorably” or “very favorably”; half as
many, or 28 percent, take a negative view of the navigator.

Accusations by some
historians that the Italian explorer opened the Americas to enslavement,
genocide and “cultural destruction” have led some U.S. cities to cancel local
Columbus Day parades and other commemorations and rename the holiday Indigenous
Peoples’ Day. New York City still has one of the nation’s largest Columbus Day parades.

Father Michael McGivney,
a candidate for sainthood, who founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882, chose
to name the organization after Columbus “because he was a widely acclaimed
Catholic figure from American history during a time when Catholics were
frequently discriminated against and marginalized,” said a news release from
the Knights announcing the results of the survey.

“The Knights of Columbus
joins the vast majority of Americans in celebrating Columbus Day,” said Supreme
Knight Carl Anderson, the organization’s CEO. “He was a man ahead of his time,
who brought two worlds together and began the process that led to the founding
of this country. It is a testament to Americans’ commitment to a fair reading
of history that the explorer’s popularity has endured despite the unfair and
hateful attacks by British propagandists, the Ku Klux Klan and revisionist

The Marist Poll conducted
the survey of 1,224 adults Sept. 11-13. Survey participants were 18 years or
older and residing in the continental United States. They were reached through
randomly selected landline or mobile numbers. Live interviewers recorded their

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