Happy Columbus Day

Oct 13, 2014: Wish you all a Happy Columbus Day. We Americans celebrate this day to mark the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, on October 21, 1492. Wow! It's over five hundred years since that discovery :). Thanks to Columbus else Americas would have remained utterly unknown to the world.

History Behind This Day

Christopher ColumbusThe first Columbus Day celebration was held in 1792, when New York City celebrated the 300th anniversary of Columbus's landing in the New World. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event. San Francisco has the second oldest Columbus Day celebration, with Italians having commemorated it there since 1869.

Columbus Day was popularized as a holiday in the United States by a lawyer, a son of Genoese immigrants who came to California. During the 1850s, Genoese immigrants settled and built ranches along the Sierra Nevada foothills. As the gold ran out, these skilled "Cal-Italians", from the Apennines, were able to prosper as self-sufficient farmers in the Mediterranean climate of Northern California.

This lawyer then moved to Colorado, which had a population of Genoese miners, and where, in 1907, the first state-wide celebration was held. In 1934, at the behest of the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic fraternal service organization named for the voyager), Congress and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set aside Columbus Day, October 12, as a Federal holiday.
Since 1971, the second Monday in October has been commemorated as a holiday in the U.S. to celebrate Columbus Day. Now a days this holiday is is generally observed by banks, the bond market, the US Postal Service and other federal agencies, most state government offices, and many school districts. But several businesses and stock exchanges remain open on this day.

Image Source(s): iStockPhoto