Should N.J. celebrate Columbus? Here are the places we've memorialized him

Oct 08, 2017 632

BY: Marisa Iati

There are at least 42 monuments to him in New Jersey, but Christopher Columbus remains one of the nation's most controversial figures. Was Columbus a hero who opened the Americas to European exploration and innovation, or a villain who lead to the enslavement of natives and the death of thousands due to disease?

The federal holiday, celebrated on the second Monday in October, was established by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1937. It was preceded by increasing admiration for Columbus beginning with the Revolutionary War, when Americans wanted to ignore the fact that Venetian explorer John Cabot was actually the first European explorer to reach North America. Cabot claimed the land for England.

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