Every second Monday of October, we celebrate Columbus Day. This holiday honors merits of Christopher Columbus and his landing on the shores of North America in 1492. This federal holiday gains more and more debates concerning its propriety each year. That’s why many people are confused about celebrating Columbus Day this year. Today, we will talk about the history of the holiday and its controversial issues.
Observe Columbus Day
History of celebrating Columbus Day
The first celebration of the achievements of Italian voyager and colonizer Christopher Columbus was recorded in 1792. 300 years after his arrival to America sponsored by Spain's Catholic monarchy, there was held a ceremony in New York City to commemorate that event.
Citizens of Baltimore even put a monument of Christopher Columbus to honor him. Another statue of Columbus was raised on New York City's Columbus Avenue in 1892. That year, in Chicago, there were represented reproductions of Columbus' three ships at the Columbian Exposition.
The initiative to celebrate Columbus Day belongs to Italian-American community in the United States. Starting on October 12, 1866, New York City's Italian populace held a festival of the Italian traveler's disclosure of America. This yearly festival spread to different cities. So, by 1869 celebrating Columbus Day got to San Francisco.
The official state Columbus Day celebration was held in Colorado, in 1905. After some time different states took after. Only in 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed each October 12 as Columbus Day.
In 1971, the US Congress officially moved the celebration to the second Monday in October.
As Columbus Day is a public holiday, many government offices and banks are closed.
Numerous US urban communities arrange parades on Columbus Day. For instance, Baltimore is famous for its traditional marching parade observing Columbus Day. New York’s annual celebration incorporates a parade down Fifth Avenue and a church service at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Moreover, Columbus Day is additionally celebrated in other different countries, like Italy, Spain, and Canada. Puerto Rico has its celebration on November 19 commemorating Columbus' disclosure of the island.
Debatable issues of Columbus Day
In 1992, before the 500th commemoration of Columbus' landing in America, there was a lot of resistance to festivities regarding Columbus. When Christopher Columbus the Caribbean islands, he believed it was East India and that the Taino, the indigenous inhabitants of the islands, were East Indians.
It is well-known that Spanish colonizers cruelly exploited Native Americans as constrained workers, punishing them with torment and death. In addition, Europeans brought their illnesses to the indigenous peoples, who had no immunity to them.
The awful blend of constrained work and wrecking new infections would wipe out the whole history and culture of Hispaniola. This is the reason why many people refer to this catastrophe as the motivation to stop observing Columbus' achievements.