Kw-logo-smaller

Columbus Day

Oct 14, 2013

Get ready to discover a whole "new world" of information about the navigator Christopher Columbus, and the American holiday named after him - Columbus Day. In the United States, Columbus Day is always celebrated on the second Monday in October.

The first Columbus Day was celebrated in New York in 1792 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Columbus’ historic arrival.

Why Is Columbus Day Celebrated?

“In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue … "

On October 12, 1492, the Italian seaman Christopher Columbus first stepped foot on the soil of the Americas, bringing with him European culture, goods, religion and practices. While other Europeans and Asians had arrived in the “New World” before him, Columbus publicized his discoveries throughout Europe, which spurred a wave of exploration and expansion throughout the Americas.

Ironically, Columbus did not plan on discovering a “New World”. He left Iberia with the blessing (and financing) of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, hoping to arrive in the Indies, a series of islands in South East Asia that Spain frequently traded with through long and expensive journeys on land. His goal was to find a quicker, water-based route instead.

But what Columbus wasn't aware of was the existence of the land masses of North and South America. So when he sailed west, he didn't land in the Indies, but rather he anchored in the Bahamas at a place he named “San Salvador”. When he came ashore on San Salvador, he mistook the native people for natives of India, calling them Indians, a misnomer which stands to this day. In fact, Columbus returned to the Americas three more times over the course of 12 years without knowing that he had arrived in an uncharted land, halfway around the globe from his intended destination!

Columbus sailed to the Americas by accidentColumbus sailed to the Americas by accident
 

Columbus Day is marked as a national holiday in the United States, with most banks, some financial markets, federal agencies such as the US Postal Service, most state government offices, and many school districts closed for the day. It is celebrated throughout the Americas (North America, Central America and South America) on the same day, although the celebration, and its reasons, varies widely.

For example, in Hawaii, it is Discoverer’s Day, combining Christopher Columbus’s explorations with those of Captain James Cook, who charted the Hawaiian Islands and celebrated the ancient people and their culture. In most states in the U.S., Columbus Day is met with parades and salutes to Italian American Culture.

In Canada, Columbus Day is celebrated in conjunction with Thanksgiving. In most of Latin America, the Día de la Raza ("Day of the Race") celebrates the first encounter between indigenous people and Europeans. In Venezuela, the day is now known as "Día de la Resistencia Indígena" ("Day of Indigenous Resistance").

Columbus Day is a celebration of Italian culture in some citiesColumbus Day is a celebration of Italian culture in some cities
 

Columbus: Explorer or Exploiter?

Many parents remember their lessons about Columbus from grade school. The teachers told us: “In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America.” That is, of course politically and technically incorrect, as native cultures had already been thriving for centuries by the time Columbus's three ships arrived from Europe. A more accurate way of explaining it to children would be to say that "In 1492, Christopher Columbus had his first encounter with the Americas."

Columbus was not actually the first person to find AmericaColumbus was not actually the first person to find AmericaCourtesy of feminspire.com
 

It would even be wrong to say that he was the first European to discover America, as Leif Eriksson and others had been there before him as well. The arrival of the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, marked the beginning of oppression and cruelty to the native people. Because of this, Columbus Day is also met with great protest throughout the Americas. Those opposing the day take the opportunity to reveal the unpleasant treatment that some European settlers subjected upon the indigenous people, including mass religious conversions and genocide.

For many in the United States, the celebration been refocused as a celebration of Italian American culture, particularly in areas with a high concentration of people with Italian lineage. This transition officially began in New York in 1866 and San Francisco in 1869, and has spread to Boston and other large cities. This has resulted in Italian-American themed celebrations, parades, and events.

Have Your Say

Did you learn about Christopher Columbus in school? What do you know about him?

 

49 Comments

latest videos

F1034709468828

Holiday on Same Day as Columbus Day?

  • Remembrance Day.
  • Thanksgiving.
  • Boxing Day.
  • They celebrate Columbus Day too.

related stories

Micro_costumes_micro
October 31 is coming up soon! If you’ve got no clue what you want to dress up as for Halloween, w...
Whether you want to be a robot in disguise or a costumed hero, these toys c...
If you're not interested in following this year's trends, check out some of these classic Hallowe...
Micro_october-micro
There are a ton of holidays taking place in October besides Halloween, so if you're looking for s...

Random in the forums

Selenemary
Selenemary posted in General:
you mean me bro? i'm meghana
reply 5 minutes
melissa25
all it took was one conversation, one look, one smile, one laugh and I was gone. Gone into oblivion. Disappeared  into some alternate universe for just me and him. His eyes were captivating and his words were infectious. As I fell harder the image of myself I once saw was slowly fading to make room for his.. He became everything I wanted. He became my life in more ways than one. I opened up to him. The was way he made it so easy was almost like casting a spell on me. I no longer had control over my own body. It was all him. But soon our love became my love for him..our hearts became further and further apart because little ddid I know our love was non existaant and it was  always just my love. my love that he used to his advantage to get to my heart.. and once he got there he stole it. he stole my heart tore it apart and left me to clean up the mess. He was a criminal.
reply 29 minutes
moblie120
moblie120 posted in Debating:
Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives. - William Dement ###############.#####-###.########.#####-###.#########
reply about 2 hours
Jeterfan14
So I guess I'll take w shot at this,   I am Mount Everest, Steep, Up and Downs. The world around,  walking all over me,  I am of whispers. A misunderstood mountain, They pray for safety that I won’t kill them That cannot help them.  I am not evil,  I am not a killer, I don’t hurt others for joy. I act strong and hid in the fog, But I can’t always hide. I break, I fall Avalanches occur from my surface.   I don’t mean to kill I don’t mean to break, I’m sorry if you become my victim I don’t mean it I am veiled in the clouds and fog No one knowing how I feel. You may ask, But I never tell I may regret not talking, but you don’t get it. I am misunderstood, I am shown to be strong, I am called mighty, I am high, To most I cannot fall. But no one gets it, I break, I fall, I hurt Just as those who climb me, I feel pain, I suffer   I am a mountain but I do cry Those storms that some die in, They blamed them for testing me I do not mean it I cannot help if I feel pain I am me, I am like you I have hills to climb, Life’s a climb, I am a climb There are steeps to overcome I may not make it, I may fall, I will fall Attempt to get up, May fail   I am not always the strong mountain, The one others come for help I need help to, You may cry to me I cry away from others, hidden I show no emotion, I store it But it explodes, I shatter, I show the true colors of my feelings I fall and it may seem like most ignore There are those who stop and help I am Mount Everest High and Steep, I to have to climb, The Mountain of Life
reply about 4 hours
Flamesword15
Flamesword15 posted in New Users:
Welcome to Kidzworld, how are you? Here are some tips on how to survi- I mean, have a good time. 1, no swearing or saying copyrighted company names. they will just get replaced with hashtags (i.e ####) 2, if you're on chat, no cyberbullying (this one isn't from personal experience, but still!)! 3, if people start to get annoying on chat, just block 'em.
reply about 8 hours

play online games