OAKVILLE, MO -- Three locals are trying to change Columbus Day to Exploration Day.
The movement started in the living room of Karl Frank Jr. after TV reports of Neil Armstrong’s death. Frank—a and —wanted to honor the astronaut's accomplishments.
“I have never been a fan of having a Federal holiday named after Columbus's accidental conquest. Like my wife said when I mentioned this to her, ‘Why? Because saying he discovered America is like walking into a grocery store and saying you discovered milk?’” .
Frank recruited friends Tom Diehl and Dr. Rod Wright. Diehl is a former Mehlville school board president and Wright is a political scientist and public relations specialist.
The group started a petition for the White House and needs 25,000 signatures by Sept. 27 for officials to review the petition. As of Monday night, their petition has 1,176 signatures.
The movement has officially gone national.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan is also gathering votes for the group saying, “Christopher Columbus is to heroes what Pluto is to planets.”
Frank said Exploration Day would allow people to celebrate Columbus, but also any other explorer that’s made innovations in the physical or technological world.