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Sunday, October 09, 2005

140-Year-Old Joke Hasn't Gotten Any Funnier

From the Minneapolis (Minn.) Star Tribune:

Seeking a new name against an old legacy

Nick Coleman, Star Tribune
October 9, 2005

Monday is Columbus Day, but not everyone will honor the name Columbus. Some will be trying to change it.

Meet Delano Columbus. He's a 25-year-old member of a proud family of Mdewakanton Dakota Indians who were saddled with the name of the Italian most people think "discovered" America, even though millions of people, including Delano's ancestors, already lived here.

It sounds like a joke, and it was meant to be. A cruel one.

The Columbus family was given its name by government agents in the punitive aftermath of the Dakota Conflict of 1862.

[snip]

And so [Delano] has decided to go to court to get his name changed. He hasn't quite figured out whether to change it to a traditional name or to an English translation of a Dakota name, but he is sure about one thing: He doesn't want to be called Columbus anymore.

[snip]

[Read the whole story]

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