Christopher Columbus is held in low regard in the modern era for bringing disease, slavery and death to native tribes that called North and South America home. That has not stopped Columbus from getting a holiday to honor his discovery of a new world discovered by countless people before him.

There is no better way to celebrate Columbus day than indulging in a movie marathon with these movies centered on exploring:

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981): Indiana Jones made his debut as a fictional explorer in grand fashion by racing against Nazis to find the legendary Ark of the Covenant. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” created a perfect formula for the modern adventure movie. Part of the fun was going along with Jones as he unraveled the clues to the Ark's location and then as he fought tooth-and-nail to keep the ark out of Nazi hands.

"2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968): Stanley Kubrick examines human evolution and evolution of other life in the solar system in his iconic sci-fi masterpiece. An alien monolith turns out to be influencing the evolution process and its efforts culminate in transforming human astronaut Dave Bowman into a fetus-like “star child” that floats in space near Earth. The movie stands out for its stunning visuals then and now.

"Contact" (1997): Analyzing radio signals for signs of extraterrestrial life has been going on for decades now. "Contact" weaves a tale of what might happen when we finally make contact with an advanced species. The signals are decoded to build a craft that transports radio astronomer Ellie Arroway across countless light years of space. "Contact" offers an interesting examination on how the possibility of outer space travel challenges long standing moral and philosophical beliefs.

"The Right Stuff" (1983): An in-depth look at how the NASA program formed and put American astronauts into space for the first time. "The Right Stuff" pushes the boundaries from the days of test pilot flights with Chuck Yeager to finally orbiting the Earth with John Glenn. It all sets the stage for the legendary Apollo program that put man on the Moon.

"Apollo 13" (1995): One of the most memorable missions of the Apollo program is the one that did not land on the moon. "Apollo 13" shows the courage of a three-man crew of astronauts who must find a way home when their spacecraft is too damaged to land on the moon. They turn a dark moment for NASA into a great story of survival with their ingenuity and refusal to give up.

"King Solomon's Mines" (1950): Allan Quartermain is the prototypical movie explorer. He serves as a guide in this 1950 version of the H. Rider Haggard novel, helping a woman find her husband who had gone missing while searching for the legendary mines. Quartermain's travels take him through the unexplored interior of Africa, where he and his party deal with savage native tribes and a host of other dangers. "King Solomon's Mines" offers interesting insight into how Africa was seen in the colonial era of that continent's history.

"Stargate" (1994): An ancient artifact is unearthed in Giza, Egypt and the United States air force discover it is a portal that connects to a distant planet. Once there, a team of air force personnel are tasked with freeing the enslaved inhabitants of the planet from the control of a powerful alien. "Stargate" offers a nice twist on the exploration of a distant planet by having the alien antagonist be an influence of early Egyptian culture and society. Plus, it paved the way for an excellent sci-fi TV series, "Stargate: SG-1."