why do we celebrate columbus day on october 12

On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus, the Italian adventurer sailing into the unknown in the name of the Spanish Crown, landed in the Bahamas, the landing that became known as the БdiscoveryБ of America (or, БThe New WorldБ if you prefer). б In New York City, 300 years later, the first БColumbus DayБ was celebrated, an event that became a regular holiday in the United States, a day especially treasured by Italian-Americans, and Italians everywhere. б (Note:
Columbus Day 2017 is celebrated on Monday, October 9. ) Christopher Columbus is ranked among the greatest explorers and discoverers of History, remembered in the name of cities, parks, schools, streets and other places, and the subject of many books, statues, and monuments. б Unfortunately, not all people and not all Americans are so enamored of old Chris Columbus ( Cristoforo Colombo, or Cristobal Colon in Italian or Spanish), most especially those Native Americans that recognize Columbus as a cruel slave grabbing tyrant willing to murder Indians that did not submit to the religion and rule of the Spanish.


In the United States, Columbus Day has been a Federal Holiday since 1937, on October 12, but in 1970 the holiday was changed to the second Monday in October. б Most banks and many schools are closed on Columbus Day, as is the Post Office, but many state and local governments no longer observe the holiday. б In fact, Alaska, Oregon, Hawaii, South Dakota, and Vermont do not observe Columbus Day. б Instead, Vermont celebrates БIndigenous Peoples DayБ and South Dakota celebrates БNative American Day,Б both a direct slap at Columbus in favor of the Native people the Europeans displaced. б Hawaii instead celebrates БDiscoverersБ DayБ in honor of the Polynesians that first settled Hawaii. б Some other states do not recognize the holiday, but celebrate it anyway, while many local governments go about business as usual without acknowledging Columbus, though other localities have some sort of day to honor Native Americans.


Meanwhile, many Latin American countries have a celebration that includes their Spanish and their Native American (and sometimes African) heritage. Along with the many heroes of the Confederacy, Christopher Columbus has become something of a racial issue in the United States, and many revisionist minded people want him to be portrayed in history books as a slave master and murderer that brought misery and pain to the Americas instead of the founder of a wonderful New World. б A movement to strip Columbus of his many honors and removal of his monuments is slowly starting and will probably gain momentum in the manner of the de-Confederatization of America. б Objections to the honoring of Columbus date back over a century, but only recently has the movement become a cause celebre, mostly by Native Americans, non-Catholics, and European apologists.


Where will the legacy of Christopher Columbus end up? б Will the capital of Ohio be renamed in honor of a Native American Chief? б Will the District of Columbia and the other thousands of places and companies named БColumbiaБ or some form of БColumbusБ all be changed? б Is the very name of this explorer an insult to all Native American people? б Will the holiday disappear, the statues be taken down, the history books rewritten? Please share your opinions on this contentious topic, whether you are for or against Columbus and his legacy. If you liked this article and would like to receive notification of new articles, please feel welcome to subscribe to History and Headlines by liking us on. Your readership is much appreciated! For more information, please see The holiday honoring Christopher Columbus s sighting of America on October 12, 1492, is observed in the states of the United States and also in parts of Canada, in Puerto Rico, and in some cities in Italy and Spain.


Although Columbus was not the first explorer to set foot in the Western Hemisphere, his landing at San Salvador Island in what is now the Bahamas was very important. It opened the way for the settlement of America by Europeans. It is probable that the first celebration honoring the event was held in 1792. Columbus Day became a legal holiday in the United States in 1892, 400 years after the famous voyage. It was then called Discovery Day. Many cities and organizations sponsor parades and banquets honoring the holiday. October 12 is celebrated in Latin American countries not only as Columbus or Discovery Day, but also as the Day of the Race ( El Ds]a de la Raza ). It honors the many different peoples of Latin America. Schoolchildren in the larger cities join parades. Fiestas, sometimes lasting several days, are held in the areas with large Indian populations. Reviewed by William R. Keyser Author, Days of the Week

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