START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
1,442,907 people care about Women's Rights

5 Americans Who Deserve a Holiday More Than Columbus

  • 2 of 2

4. Rosa Parks

Parks’s strong convictions helped demonstrate the power of civil disobedience on that fateful day in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on the bus. Her defiance set off a crusade against institutionalized segregation in America and forever changed the course of history for the better.

Though her life is already honored with minor holidays in the states of California and Ohio, a proper federal holiday for Parks would remind citizens that the Civil Rights Movement was not accomplished singlehandedly by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but through the actions of countless courageous people – including women.

5. Mark Twain

Political figures aren’t the only people worthy of distinction, so how about honoring one of the greatest American writers? Twain’s famous, prolific works are invaluable to our culture and are still taught in schools nearly a century and a half later.

Moreover, Twain helped to shape the way Americans looked at our world. His serious novels like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and satirical essays about the day’s current events challenged the way Americans think, proving the influence that literature can wield.


Now it’s your turn: which individuals throughout history would you like to see recognized with a holiday?

  • 2 of 2

Read more: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top photo: stevebkennedy, Chavez photo by Joel Levine, others available through national archives' public domain

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
4:15PM PST on Feb 6, 2015

Ask any Native American or Native Hawaiian what they think of Discovers' Day, and their responses will be much like most of the comments posted here. It's good to know that most Care2 readers don't buy into the bullshit revisionist history that was taught in our educational system.

3:43PM PST on Feb 6, 2015

Christopher Columbus did not even discover America~~the Native Americans were already here. How about a Native American holiday???

5:02AM PST on Jan 20, 2015

Never mix or mess up work with life

4:46PM PDT on Oct 21, 2014

These are fine suggestions, with my heart leaning toward Mark Twain.

Other nominations to occupy the Columbus spot might include:
Skennenrahawi, aka The Great Peacemaker
Chief Joseph
Harriet Tubman
Susan B. Anthony
Benjamin Franklin
Howard Zinn
Harvey Milk
Paul Robeson
Helen Keller
Nikola Tesla
Studs Terkel
Chief Tecumseh
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Sojourner Truth
Frederick Douglass
Eugene Debs
Woody Guthrie
W.E.B. DuBois
Jane Addams
Lucretia Mott
Malcolm X
Jesse Owens
Johnny Appleseed

As I read through the comments I found many of my admittedly haphazard list had already been mentioned.

I like Roxane C.'s suggestion of changing Columbus Day to DISCOVER AMERICA DAY.

8:11AM PDT on Oct 16, 2014

All great people who made a difference in the US.

6:13AM PDT on Oct 16, 2014

I have long pushed for a Great Americans Day to replace several holidays. Makes a great school lesson, lots of opportunity for TV to educate on that day, and opens the door to lots of discussion as to who should be included.

I suppose given how much better they are than Columbus, almost any American could be on the list (none, I believe, were responsible for as much wanton terror and torture as Columbus). He also wasn't an American. Of the singular recommendations, none, in my view, deserve such a singular holiday.

Of course, you could create a publication list celebrating each person on their birthday or on a date of newsworthy note in their life. No holiday is needed -- just recognition on a calendar or by news shows or by Congressional decree. We would learn more and, with 365 days on the calendar, there's always something to be learned and appreciated.

Holidays -- derived from "holy days" -- should be for reflection. If it's just for shopping or BBQs, that's OK from a celebration point of view, and we certainly deserve more days off, but we should keep clear on our purpose.

7:41AM PDT on Sep 20, 2014

Washington's birthday is a national holiday. In some states, Lincoln's birthday has been a holiday. We now have President's Day to combine the two and any others individual areas find worthy. March, April, June, and August have no holidays whatsoever. We don't need to look far to find amazing people who've done much to better the country and/or make our lives better.
Once I understood that Columbus did not, in truth, "discover" America, I wondered why we made a holiday of his birthday. I think I was in high school at the time. It's nice to have a holiday in October. I just wish it were for a more laudable personage.
Given that everybody loves a paid day off from work (or school), why can the personage we celebrate be one who contributed good things and made the world a better place to live?

12:02PM PDT on Sep 19, 2014


12:51PM PDT on Sep 12, 2014


7:28PM PDT on Sep 9, 2014

All are unique people with special skills and experiences....I would like the next to be Ms. Parks.....

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

Even for homeless women who might earn some money, tampons and pads are frequently classified as nonessential…

Christopher......The "racist" remark was from a link YOU posted on this thread from the Sun- Sentinel..…

ads keep care2 free

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!