Columbus Day ― Date, History, and Details

Columbus Day

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History of Columbus Day and How to Celebrate/ Observe It

Columbus Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas on October 12, 1492. The holiday is celebrated every year on the second Monday in October.

In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival with patriotic celebrations. In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed October 12 a national holiday, and in 1971, Congress established it as a federal holiday.

Since Columbus Day falls on a Monday, many Americans have a three-day weekend. For some, the holiday is a time to celebrate Italian-American heritage. Others use the occasion to advocate for indigenous peoples’ rights. Some cities and states have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day or other celebrations of Native American culture.