By now most people realize what Columbus did do and what he did not do. He didn't "discover" the New World, he didn't "discover" America, and he most certainly did not prove the world was round. There are several confirmed voyages to the Americas long before Columbus, not to mention the native population who had lived in the New World for something around 12,000 years... and ancient Greek geographers had long understood the shape and relative size of the Earth. So it begs the question, what did Columbus do?
It may be more accurate to say that Columbus was the last person to "discover" the New World. Columbus may not have been the first, but in so many ways his voyages were the most significant for the continued development and expansion of Western Civilization. Essentially the reason why Columbus' voyages are so important is that others followed him, which began a centuries long obsession with colonization and empire building.
That being said, those empires were built through the destruction of native populations. Because of this reality some cities and states around the country have begun to celebrate October 12 as Indigenous Peoples Day, rather than Columbus Day. They choose to honor the memory of those civilizations that were destroyed as a result of Columbus' voyages rather than the man himself.
So what do you think? Has the time come to put aside the great myths of Columbus?