Why Americans Commemorate the Great Columbus? – SpeakStick
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Why Americans Commemorate the Great Columbus?

08. December 2015

Americas commemorate Columbus Day on October 12, 2015, which is the second Monday of October 2015.

Columbus Day remembers the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the New World in 1942. In the early 18th century, this day was unofficially celebrated in some states and cities. This holiday celebrates the Italian- American heritage as well as Columbus’ achievements. However, it faces controversies because of the settlement of Europeans in the Americas, which demise the culture and history of the indigenous peoples.

Facts About Columbus Day         

Christopher Columbus is a European, who believes to first sail and discovered the New World--- Americas. However, this holiday generates controversies as there was evidence that showed that the Viking explorers were the first Europeans to sail across Atlantic. Moreover, it was believed that there were indigenous peoples living in the land thousands of years ago, long before it was discovered by the Vikings or even Columbus.

In 1972, Columbus Day was first celebrated in the United States when the Tammy Hall, the New York’s Columbian Order, held an event to honour the 300th anniversary of the historic landings.

President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation in 1982 inviting all Americans to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage through patriotic revelries.

He wrote, “On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.”

Columbus Day was also first celebrated in San Francisco on 1869, originally as an Italian- American heritage celebration. In 1907, Colorado celebrated the first state- wide Columbus Day. In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Columbus Day as a national holiday. This is the result of the influence of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal benefits organization.

Starting 1971, this special holiday has been observed every second Monday of October, which was originally celebrated every October 12.

In Latin America and other Latino communities, this day was named as the Día de la Raza or the Day of the Race. Instead of using Columbus Day, other states have used other names to refer the discovery of Americas. For an instance in Hawaii, this holiday is known as the Discoverer’s day or the Landing Day.

Observance of Columbus Day

Americans honour Columbus Day with church services, street fairs, and parades. In some areas, they prepare special and large events to celebrate the discovery of their country.

Columbus Day is a public holiday, however unofficially celebrated in some states. Some offices are not on a day off but since it is a federal government holiday, government offices are closed for any transactions. It may not be legally observed in other States, except Florida which lawfully observe the holiday.

Private entities that don’t observe Columbus Day as a public holiday have regular office transactions. Schools do have classes, but it still depends on the directive of the upper management.

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