Facts About Columbus Day

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The name of Christopher Columbus is known to all today as the famous Italian sailor who discovered the New World in the year 1492, on October 12th.

Fact 1 When Is Columbus Day Celebrated

Columbus Day is celebrated not only in the United States but also other countries to commemorate the special day, on which Christopher Columbus set foot on the New World on the 12th of October, 1492. Although he thought that he had arrived in Asia, he actually landed in the beautiful islands in the Bahamas. He was the first European to explore these islands in the Americas. This day has been celebrated from the late 1700s but unofficially till it was declared a national holiday in 1934 by President Roosevelt. However, in 1971, the date was changed and the second Monday in the month of October was declared as the permanent Columbus Day.

Fact 2 Christopher Columbus And His Discovery

Christopher Columbus was an enthusiastic sailor who was born in Genoa, Italy in the year 1451. Columbus being an ordinary sailor asked for financial backup to discover new routes to Asia. But he was refused by many of the European countries and also Portugal, France and England. They argued that his calculations were incorrect and so they were not willing to help him. However, he set sail with 3 ships and 90 crew members with the support of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. His main aim was to establish a trading relationship with India and China and the spice and gold islands of Asia through a new sea route. But the islands where he set his foot were the Bahamas and he became the first European to find out this new land. Columbus Day was celebrated as a state holiday first in Colorado in 1906. His estimate about the circumference of the earth and the vastness of the oceans were incorrect. But luckily he landed in the undiscovered lands of the Americas.

Fact 3 Celebration Of Columbus Day In Other Countries

It is true that Christopher Columbus could not fulfill his own dreams of reaching India and the Asian states, his discovery of the New World was hailed by most of the European countries. People of Latin America, Spain, Belize, Argentina, Bahamas and Uruguay take great pride in celebrating this important day but with different names.

In Canada, the second Monday of October is celebrated as Columbus Day as well as Canadian Thanksgiving Day that was made final in 1959.

This day is known as Dia de la Raza in Latin America. In the Bahamas it is known as Discovery Day, Fiesta National and Dia de la Hispanidad in Spain, Dia Del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural in Argentina, Day of the Americas in Uruguay and Belize. Puerto Rico Friendship Day and Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day is celebrated in Virginia on the same day.

Christopher Columbus was an Italian by birth and so Columbus Day is commemorated by the Italian-Americans as their Heritage Day.

It is a holiday in most of the states of the United States and parades are held to show respect to this great explorer. The largest parade is seen in New York.

Fact 4 Other Voyages Of Columbus

Apart from his discovery of the New World, Columbus made three more voyages that took him to the Caribbean Islands, Central America and South America. It was a tragic event that his ship Santa Maria hit a coral reef in his first voyage in 1492 where he lost about 40 crews whom he had left behind to begin a new European settlement in the newly discovered land when he returned to La Nevada in 1493.

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