I agree. Juneteenth should absolutely be a national holiday. I lived for many years in the SF Bay Area where the idea of nixing Columbus Day started. Having been born in NY, I had to explain to my CA friends why the opposition to that was so strong on the East Coast. They had no idea about the Italian heritage connection. I also discovered that the Catholic men’s organization the Knights of Columbus was formed in 1882 in part because bigotry kept Catholics from being accepted into other fraternal orders that were so essential to business networking at that time. Catholics are also forbidden by their faith to be members of secret societies like the Masons. In the 1920s, the Knights published the Knights of Columbus Racial Contribution Series of books to combat animus toward black, German, and Jewish people. People at the time were unaware that Columbus committed crimes against humanity. If they had been, I’m not sure he would have been so honored. In any case, Italian Americans have many great cultural icons to admire. I suggest we dispense with Columbus Day and replace it with Da Vinci Day. It could be in August. August needs a national holiday. Da Vinci Day would not only honor Italian heritage, it would promote art, architecture, engineering, invention, science, music, mathematics, and the many other things in which Leonardo excelled.

I write whatever I want, like poetry The New Yorker wouldn’t dare print. Visit me at denisesheltonwrites.com.

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