Happy IPD

It’s October 11th, and it’s the Monday closest to the date Columbus landed in the New World. In Berkeley (and in some other places, too) that means it’s Indigenous Peoples Day. The city adopted the holiday back in 1992 as part of its response to the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival. It set off a lot of chortling, even among some Berkeleyites; note also that Malcolm X’s birthday, May 19, and International Women’s Day, in early March, are also local holidays here; what I like about all that is it’s a real-life attempt to try to look at history from a different perspective. (And I admit that I wasn’t sorry to see Columbus knocked off his pedestal; I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder that Leif Ericsson doesn’t get enough press, though he does get an officially designated day, too — October 9).

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