"There should never have been a Columbus Day because just like Hitler he tried to commit near genocide for the Indians", said Rita J Martinez, one of the organizers for the abolish Columbus Day group.
The Ohio city's decision is not related to a movement to end Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day, in deference to the Native American population that was colonized and in some cases enslaved or decimated by colonizing forces associated with Columbus.
Most schools are closed for Columbus Day, but some local districts-and some district offices-stay open.
On what has traditionally been Columbus Day - the second Monday in October - numerous cities including Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Nashville and Santa Fe, New Mexico recognize Indigenous Peoples Day, amid growing criticism of a failure to recognized Native American's history and contribution.
But the proclamations from the last two presidents couldn't be more different. Less than half of the states give their workers Columbus Day off as a paid holiday.
But it became the subject of protests previous year over Columbus's enslavement of native people, with the protest's organizer supporting renaming the city itself.
"If you're mayor of a city and its name is Columbus, why wouldn't you capitalize on that?"
Most libraries shut down for Columbus Day.
"Columbus Day is a relic of an outdated and oversimplified version of history", the mayor wrote when announcing the decision last month. In blue states especially, communities now recognize Columbus as a slaveholder, rapist and plunderer of gold; a total of 56 cities and four states have followed Berkeley's example.
He wasn't the first to discover the New World, the term generally used to refer to the modern-day Americas.
"It's really an Italian holiday", Suozzi told me.
This year, the Monday observance of Columbus Day falls on October 8. It is celebrated the second Monday in October. Not mentioned were the words indigenous people or Native Americans.
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