You seem to have had an issue loading this page or you have javascript disabled, which may cause problems while using Change.org. To avoid any further inconvenience, please enable javascript in your browser and refresh this page.
United States Congress: Rededicate Columbus Day as Exploration Day
  • Petitioned United States Congress

This petition was delivered to:

United States Congress
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

United States Congress: Rededicate Columbus Day as Exploration Day

    1. Tom Diehl
    2. Petition by

      Tom Diehl

      St Louis, MO

The true American spirit has been and is about achieving the impossible through exploration, scientific research, innovation and creativity. From the earliest migrations across the Bering Strait to the successful landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars, America continues to remarkably inspire the dreamers, the courageous, the adventurers and the resolute to reach farther, to build greater and to strive to make America that more perfect Union.

With that spirit in mind, we propose that Columbus Day be rededicated as Exploration Day.

When Neil Armstrong passed away, President Obama said, "Neil was among the greatest of American heroes -- not just of his time, but of all time. When he and his fellow crewmembers lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable -- that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten."

Essentially, the vast majority of Americans, regardless of background or political orientation, should celebrate federal holidays. Columbus Day no longer fits the litmus test of credibility and relevance for many people. Re-dedicating Columbus Day as Exploration Day will allow those who wish to commemorate his accomplishments to continue doing so. But for those who find Columbus's role in history disquieting, it will enable them to celebrate the day in a very different way. Exploration Day covers the depth and breath of America’s rich history of exploration, research and discovery. Thus, Exploration Day will be something that unites rather than divides.

Exploration is a broad topic, but the exploratory spirit is not. It's a human characteristic that drives adventure, and progress while satisfying the insatiable need to know what's over the next horizon. Exploration Day is a day to celebrate where we've been, but more importantly, where we could go if we all put our minds and efforts together for a common goal. It's both a celebration of our past as well as our future.

“Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.” John F. Kennedy

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,500 signatures
    2. Media Updates!

      Tom Diehl
      Petition Organizer

      Front Page of Fark.com

      Front Page of News.Discovery.com

      Made CBS Sunday Morning News Today

      Examiner.com today

      BigThink.com Front Page tomorrow!

      Drew Curtis' FARK.com

      Satirical views on interesting, bizarre and amusing stories, submitted by a community of millions of news junkies, with regular Photoshop contests.

    3. Reached 750 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • brandon walton ROCKY POINT, NC
      • 9 months ago


    • Shelby Clark WATHA, NC
      • 9 months ago

      Because I know my history and that Colombus is not the person we should celebrate for. He did horrible things to natives and girls. Change it!

    • Shawn Peabody TIMONIUM, MD, MADAGASCAR
      • 9 months ago

      It's a national disgrace that we continue to celebrate this war criminal and barbarian as a national hero.

    • Kristine Bell NEW YORK, NY
      • 10 months ago

      Columbus was a horrible person, we should not be celebrating him.

    • Derek McGrath FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
      • 10 months ago

      As an early and nineteenth-century American literature teacher, I want to emphasize to my students the role Columbus holds historically, and to encourage more interdisciplinary educational opportunities that the topic "exploration" provides.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.