Is This The Final Federal Columbus Day in American History?

"It’s that spirit of wonder, Exploration Day advocates believe, that should be the focus of a national holiday." - Jeffrey Marlow Wired.com

We are heading in to Columbus Day weekend with some real momentum.  Our end goal is to eventually have a federal holiday, as Marlow says in his latest update of our efforts, to kindle "that spirit of wonder."  

The purpose is to connect that wonder to annual awareness of STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and other curriculum projects that hold the potential to increase our children's engagement and discipline interest - like Big History.  We call it STEM-h.

Whether or not we are successful in our efforts to upgrade Columbus Day to Exploration Day, we have already made great gains in adding to the historical realities of 10s of thousands of Americans and others around the world.
On Sunday, CBS Sunday Morning News will put our effort in front of 3.5 to 5 million viewers, the current number one rated Sunday Morning News network.

On Monday morning, BigThink.com will publish an article we wrote on their front page and newsletter.  Big Think has published articles and videos from Richard Branson, Bill Nye, Neil deGrass Tyson, Penn & Teller, Daniel Kahneman, and many more.

In that article we state our purpose:


We want to move our country towards a future of abundance and peace. The way to get there is through an honest accounting of where we have been in order to better understand where we are going. Exploration Day would help us get there via popularization efforts of STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and curriculum programs that hold the potential to increase our children’s engagement and discipline interest – like Big History.  We call it STEM-h. 
Commercial explorer and winner of the Ansari X Prize, Burt Rutan said, “It’s not good enough for us to have generations of kids that look forward to a better version of a cell phone with a video in it. They need to look forward to exploration.”


And today, Jeffrey Marlow of Wired Science wrote an update of our efforts. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/10/columbus-day-approaches-under-heavy-fire-and-a-call-for-change/

We have also added a board of advisers.  Dr. Rod Wright, Dr. Pamela Gay, Dr. Nicole Gugliucci, Dr. Rhett Allain, and Jason Major.

Most importantly, we have two petitions this time around.  If you signed the first petition, it is no longer valid.  It expired on September 27th.

 First, petition the White House directly

Second, petition Congress

Third, visit www.ExplorationDayUSA.org and share with your friends and family.

Become active in a cause that has the potential to change the future of America through nothing more than awareness, and as Marlow said, "That Spirit of Wonder."

When you get a moment, watch Marlow's TEDx Speech here, as it has given me the inspiration to push forward, and maybe it will do the same for you...especially the part that includes Princess Diana. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48CYlAP4WZ4

Please consider writing blog posts, reviewing your curriculum, writing news articles, forwarding this email to immediate family members and friends, Facebook it, Tweet it, G+ it and more.  Be creative, but most importantly, join us in this exploration over our next horizon!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Roger Thompson October 06, 2012 at 01:23 PM
When will you stop wasting electrons?
Karl Frank Jr. October 08, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Media attention building. Headline story of Discovery News Today. CBS Sunday Morning News Today. FARK.com front page today. Examiner.com today. BigThink.com tomorrow.... To keep up with current media coverage: http://explorationdayusa.org/media-coverage/ Even if we don't get the signatures this time around, the conversation has been started and the right people are involved.
Karl Frank Jr. October 08, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Just watched the CBS Sunday Morning News episode again. While the process took us about 4 hours, they really hit our intended message. They nailed what we were trying to say. We are very happy with it. If only they would have included a link to our website. :)
Karl Frank Jr. October 08, 2012 at 04:21 AM
BigThink.com article just went live. http://bigthink.com/think-tank/goodbye-columbus-nil-hello-exploration-day Should be on the home page for 24 hours starting soon if not already. 'Goodbye, Columbus - Hello Exploration Day'
RDBet October 08, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I would be in favor of doing away with this holiday alltogether. Christopher Columbus was not a hero. Skilled and important historical figure? - Yes. Yet, his cause was not a moral one (greed, conquest) and his means were torture, murder, and enslavement. Hardly a person we should be honoring. Reworking this into a different federal holiday? - I'm not initially sold on it-seems unnecessary. However, I have not had a chance to look at the links you provide.
Karl Frank Jr. October 08, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I think many have a similar response initially. We respond to this on the site. www.explorationdayusa.org. Good points.
RDBet October 08, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I feel it would be better to defederalize the holiday -since many states and local institutions already do not recognize it. Perhaps honor our exploration heritage of Americans in some other way, such as through schools programs. I'm not anti-holiday, I do like the atmosphere of the 3 day weekends, and see the collective regenerative effects they have on society. It would be better to have a federal holiday that honors no one or nothing. Just a pure break without a commitment to honor anything - a chance to spend time with family and friends. Then the mind explores. November 1st would be timed right for a break - but then there would be some PC connotations of with the pagan halloween or All Saints Day.
Seth Simons October 30, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Total signatures on this Petition - 1240. WOW!!!! even less people care about this then the same petition last month. Looks like a pretty good indication of where this belongs.
Karl Frank Jr. October 30, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Seth, we are just getting started.
Seth Simons October 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM
A little primer in petition 101 for you. You are suppose to get more signatures the second time around......
Karl Frank Jr. October 30, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Thx for the tip. We'll take that under advisement moving forward.
rv October 31, 2012 at 08:08 PM
see: http://www.stlcolumbusday.com
rv October 31, 2012 at 08:09 PM
enjoy the parade next year. http://www.stlcolumbusday.com


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