But in more than 50 USA cities, along with a few universities, counties and states, it's not.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted this week to eliminate all references to Columbus Day as a county holiday, designating October 12 as Italian American Heritage Day and creating a new Indigenous Peoples Day.
Christopher Columbus may not be as popular now as he was when the USA capital and a national holiday were named in his honor, but a majority of Americans still hold him in high regard.
Those who oppose Columbus Day today do so out of the same belief that something as seemingly innocuous as a federal holiday has the power to overcome or reinforce prejudice.
In 1937, the U.S. Congress declared October 12 a federal holiday, naming it Columbus Day.
Byrne said town council members recently said the Columbus protestors should return to talk again with the council about the issue.
"We gather at the statue of Columbus because it is a clear reminder of his legacy of attempted genocide and land theft", the group said in a news release. A major celebration planned to mark the 500th anniversary of the New World landing never generated the interest that planners had hoped for, Fowler said.
"Our city owes our very founding to the indigenous peoples in Denver", Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez told the Denver Post, shortly after the city adopted the new holiday in 2016.
Then everything changed. Few years in history have been punctuated by such pivotal events as what happened in Spain in 1492.
The city of Austin was the latest in the long list of cities to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day.
So why do Italian-Americans cling so tightly to Columbus Day? "Nor is the suffering, destruction of cultures and subjugation of Los Angeles' original indigenous people, who were here thousands of years before anyone else".
But supporters say honoring the explorer pays tribute to the contributions of Italian-Americans.
"They want to change holidays". At Husmann Elementary School, I learned that Christopher Columbus founded this great land we call America and is a hero to our people.
The Columbus monument represented a coming of age for Italian immigrants; it gave them a sense of belonging in America after years or persecution. But experts have since discovered that the first Italian to make it to the USA mainland was Giovanni da Verrazzano, who sailed for the French.
"On behalf of the Italian community, we want to celebrate with you", Ann Potenza, president of Federated Italo-Americans of Southern California, said at a hearing in Los Angeles in August, the Los Angeles Times reported.