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Columbus Day Facts
Columbus Day Date:
Enter Year to the Date of Columbus Day in Any Year
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Rule to Determine the Date of Columbus Day:
Columbus Day is observed on the second Monday in October
Federal Holiday Status
Columbus Day is a federal holiday in the United States. Learn more about federal holidays.
Reason We Celebrate Columbus Day:
The anniversary of the European discovery of America.
History of Columbus Day (U.S):
- In 1792, a ceremony was organized by the Society of St. Tammany, or Colombian Order and held in New York City. The celebration honored Columbus and marked the 300th anniversary of the landing.
- In 1866, the Italian population of New York organized a celebration of the discovery of America.
- In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed the 400th anniversary.
- In 1937, every October 12 was proclaimed as Columbus Day by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- In 1968, Columbus Day was declared a federal public holiday on the second Monday in October by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
- Because Christopher Columbus has been thought to have killed and enslaved native Americans of Haiti, some people are rejecting the holiday.
Disputed Facts About Christopher Columbus
- Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451.
- He wanted to find a trade route to get to India and China because land travel was risky.
- After King Henry of Portugal declined his request for ships and sailors to discover the way to the Indies, he approached Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain.
- Columbus set sail with three ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria and ninety sailors on August 3rd, 1492.
- They stopped for supplies on the Canary Islands and left on September 6.
- On October 12, they landed in Haiti.
- He thought he was in the Indies and called the natives Indians. He named the island San Salvador and claimed it for the King and Queen of Spain.
- He returned with two ships to Spain, leaving some sailors on the island.
- He then returned to the island with 17 ships and 1500 men.
He then sailed to other islands including, Honduras, Venezuela, and Panama. It is believed that he also reached the coast of Florida, although this fact is sometimes disputed.
- He died in Spain in 1506.
- These facts about Christopher Columbus and his character have been disputed. Many believe that we should not celebrate his landing because of the harm that came to the indigenous population.
Observance of Columbus Day:
- The Columbus Day celebration is often marked by parades and parties.
- Stores often have great Columbus Day sales.
- People often have off from work on Columbus Day, having a three day weekend. Often they do fall cleaning or take a short trip.