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Columbus Day is a national holiday in many countries of the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...

Americas
and elsewhere, and a
federal holiday in the United States In the United States, a federal holiday is a calendar date that is recognized and designated by the federal government of the United States as a holiday. Every year on a U.S. federal holiday, non-essential federal government offices are closed, ...
, which officially celebrates the anniversary of
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian ...

Christopher Columbus
's arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Christopher Columbus was a
Genovese Genovese is an Italian surname meaning, properly, someone from Genoa. Its Italian plural form '' Genovesi'' has also developed into a surname. People * Alfred Genovese (1931–2011), American oboist * Alfredo Genovese (born 1964), Argentine arti ...
-born explorer who became a subject of the
Hispanic Monarchy
Hispanic Monarchy
in order to lead a Spanish enterprise to cross the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
in search of an alternative route to the
Far East The Far East is a term to refer to the geographical regions that includes East and Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nati ...

Far East
, only to land in the
New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 33: " ''Santa_María'',_'' ''Santa_María'',_''Niña">Santa_María_(ship).html"_;"title="6c:_from__...
._Columbus's_first_voyage_to_the_New_World_on_the_Spanish_ships_Santa_María_(ship)">''Santa_María'',_''Niña'',_and_Pinta_(ship).html" ;"title="Niña.html" ;"title="Santa_María_(ship).html" ;"title="6c: from ...
. Columbus's first voyage to the New World on the Spanish ships Santa María (ship)">''Santa María'', ''Niña">Santa_María_(ship).html" ;"title="6c: from ...
. Columbus's first voyage to the New World on the Spanish ships Santa María (ship)">''Santa María'', ''Niña'', and Pinta (ship)">''La Pinta'' took approximately three months. Columbus and his crew's arrival in the
New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 33: "[16c: from ...
initiated the colonisation of the Americas by Spain, followed in the ensuing centuries by other European powers, as well as the transfer of plants, animals, culture, human populations, and technology between the New World and the Old World, an event referred to by some late 20th‐century historians as the
Columbian Exchange #REDIRECT Columbian exchange#REDIRECT Columbian exchange native plants. Clockwise, from top left: 1. Citrus (Rutaceae); 2. Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agr ...
. The landing is celebrated as Columbus Day in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, but the name varies on the international spectrum. The
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with ...

Dominican Republic
celebrates this day as "The Discovery of the Americas". In some
Latin America * ht, Amerik Latin, link=no * pt, América Latina, link=no , image = Latin America (orthographic projection).svg , area = , population = ( est.) , density = , ethnic_groups = , ethnic_groups_year = 2018 , ethnic ...

Latin America
n countries, October 12 is known as ''Día de
la Raza The Spanish expression ('the people' or 'the community'; literal translation Literal translation, direct translation or word-for-word translation, is a translation of a text done by translating each word separately, without looking at ho ...
'' or "Day of the Race". This is the case for
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
, which inspired
Jose Vasconcelos
Jose Vasconcelos
' book celebrating the Day of the Iberoamerican Race. Some countries such as
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
refer to the holiday as ''Día de la Hispanidad'' and ''Fiesta Nacional de España'', where it coincides with the religious festivity of '' La Virgen del Pilar''. Since 2009,
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
has celebrated ''Día de los pueblos originarios y el diálogo intercultural'' ("Indigenous Peoples and Intercultural Dialogue Day").
Belize Belize () is a Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primari ...

Belize
and
Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt, Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; whi ...

Uruguay
celebrate it as ''Pan American Day'' and ''Día de las Américas'' ("Day of the Americas"). ''Giornata Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo'' or ''Festa Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo'' is the formal name of the celebration in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
as well as in
Little Italy Little Italy is a general name for an ethnic enclave File:India Square JC jeh.JPG, India Square in Jersey City, New Jersey#Demographics, Jersey City, New Jersey, one of 24 Indian American, Indian ethnic enclaves in the New York City Metropolit ...

Little Italy
s around the world.


United States observance


History

The first Columbus Day celebration took place on October 12, 1792 when the Columbian Order of New York, better known as
Tammany Hall Tammany Hall, also known as the Society of St. Tammany, the Sons of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order, was a New York City political organization founded in 1786 and incorporated on May 12, 1789, as the Tammany Society. It became the main lo ...
, held an event to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the historic landing. For the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's voyage in 1892, following a lynching in New Orleans where a mob had murdered 11 Italian immigrants, President
Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 March 13, 1901) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 23rd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of t ...

Benjamin Harrison
declared Columbus Day as a one-time national celebration. The proclamation was part of a wider effort after the lynching incident to placate Italian Americans and ease diplomatic tensions with Italy. During the anniversary in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These rituals took themes such as citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and the celebration of
social progress Image:American Progress (John Gast painting).jpg, upright=1.14, alt=Painting depicting a woman draped in white robes flying westward across the land with settlers and following her on foot, John Gast (painter), John Gast, ''American Progress'', ...
, included among them was the
Pledge of Allegiance The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 ...
by
Francis Bellamy Francis Julius Bellamy (May 18, 1855 – August 28, 1931) was an American Christian socialist minister and author, best known for writing the original version of the US Pledge of Allegiance in 1892. Early life Francis Julius Bellamy was born o ...
.Kubal, Timothy. 2008. Cultural Movements and Collective Memory: Christopher Columbus and the Rewriting of the National Origin Myth. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Many
Italian-Americans Italian Americans ( it, italoamericani or ''italo-americani'', ) are citizens of the United States of America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United ...
observe Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage and not of Columbus himself, and the day was celebrated in New York City on October 12, 1866. The day was first enshrined as a legal holiday in the United States through the lobbying of Angelo Noce, a first generation American, in Denver. The first statewide holiday was proclaimed by Colorado governor Jesse F. McDonald in 1905, and it was made a statutory holiday in 1907.Sale, Kirkpatrick, "The Conquest of Paradise", p. 359, In 1934, as a result of lobbying by the
Knights of Columbus The Knights of Columbus (K of C) is a global Catholic The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3&nb ...
and New York City Italian leader
Generoso Pope Generoso Pope (April 1, 1891 – April 28, 1950) was an Italian-American businessman and the owner of a chain of Italian-language newspapers in major American cities. Family Generoso was born with the name Generoso Antonio Pompilio Carlo Papa. ...
, Congress passed a statute stating: "The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation (1) designating October 12 as Columbus Day; (2) calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Columbus Day; and (3) inviting the people of the United States to observe Columbus Day, in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies that express the public sentiment befitting the anniversary of the discovery of America." President
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician and attorney who served as the 32nd president of the United States The president of the United States ...
responded by making such a proclamation. This proclamation did not lead to the modern federal holiday; it was similar to language regarding Thomas Jefferson's Birthday and Gold Star Mothers Day. Later in 1942, Roosevelt had the removal of the designation of Italian Americans as “
enemy aliens In customary international law Customary international law is an aspect of international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relations ...
” announced on Columbus Day along with a plan to offer citizenship to 200,000 elderly Italians living in the United States who had been unable to acquire citizenship due to a literacy requirement. In 1966, Mariano A. Lucca, from
Buffalo, NY Buffalo is the List of cities in New York (state), second-largest city in the United States, U.S. state of New York (state), New York and the largest city in Western New York. 's census estimates, the city proper population was 255,284. The city ...

Buffalo, NY
, founded the National Columbus Day Committee, which lobbied to make Columbus Day a federal holiday. These efforts were successful and legislation to create Columbus Day as a
federal holiday In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Was ...
was signed by President Johnson on June 28, 1968, to be effective beginning in 1971. Since 1971 (Oct. 11), the holiday has been observed on the second Monday in October, coincidentally exactly the same day as
Thanksgiving Thanksgiving is a national holiday A holiday is a day set aside by Norm (social), custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holidays are intended to allow ...
in neighboring Canada since 1957. It is generally observed nowadays by banks, the
bond market The bond market (also debt market or credit market) is a financial market A financial market is a market Market may refer to: *Market (economics) *Market economy *Marketplace, a physical marketplace or public market Geography *Märket, an i ...
, the U.S. Postal Service, other federal agencies, most state government offices, many businesses, and most school districts. Some businesses and some stock exchanges remain open, and some states and municipalities abstain from observing the holiday. The traditional date of the holiday also adjoins the anniversary of the
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
(founded October 13, 1775), and thus both occasions are customarily observed by the Navy and the
Marine Corps Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard the ship (reflecting the natu ...
with either a 72- or 96-hour liberty period. On October 10, 1992, Pope John Paul II visited the Dominican Republic to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Discovery Of the Americas and the arrival of Christianity in the "New World" His visit ended with a mass in the nation's cathedral, the first cathedral in the Western Hemisphere. On October 8, 2021, President Joe Biden proclaimed that October 11 would be recognized as Indigenous Peoples' Day by the Federal Government. While Columbus Day was still issued a proclamation acknowledging it as the Federal Holiday and the contributions of Italian Americans, the first proclamation is meant to mark October 11 as "a day to honor Native Americans, their resilience and their contributions to American society throughout history, even as they faced assimilation, discrimination and genocide spanning generations."


Local observance of Columbus Day

Actual observance varies in different parts of the United States, ranging from large-scale parades and events to complete non-observance. Most states do not celebrate Columbus Day as an official state holiday. Some mark it as a "Day of Observance" or "Recognition.” Most states that celebrate Columbus Day will close state services, while others operate as normal. San Francisco claims the nation's oldest continuously existing celebration with the Italian-American community's annual Columbus Day Parade, which was established by Nicola Larco in 1868, while New York City boasts the largest, with over 35,000 marchers and one million viewers around 2010. As in the mainland United States, Columbus Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. territory of
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
. In the
United States Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States, are a group of Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean ...
, the day is celebrated as both Columbus Day and "Puerto Rico Friendship Day."
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
also celebrates two legal holidays on the day, Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day, which honors the final victory at the
Siege of Yorktown The siege of Yorktown, also known as the Battle of Yorktown, the surrender at Yorktown, or the German battle (from the presence of Germans in all three armies), beginning on September 28, 1781, and ending on October 19, 1781, at Yorktown, Virgi ...
in the
Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War(s) may refer to: * American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the armed conflict between Great Britain and 13 of its North American colonies, which had declared themselves the independent United States of America * French Revolution ...
.


Non-observance

The celebration of Columbus Day in the United States began to decline at the end of the 20th century, although many Italian-Americans and others continue to champion it. The states of
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
,
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
,
Vermont Vermont () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Vermont
,
South Dakota South Dakota () (Sioux The Sioux or Oceti Sakowin (; Dakota Dakota may refer to: * Dakota people, a sub-tribe of the Sioux ** Dakota language, their language From this origin, Dakota may also refer to: Places United States * Dako ...

South Dakota
,
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
,
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Gulf of Maine to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine
, and parts of
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
including, for example,
Los Angeles County Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, and sometimes abbreviated as L.A. County, is the List of the most populous counties in the United States, most populous county in the United States and in the U.S. state of California, w ...
do not recognize it and have each replaced it with celebrations of
Indigenous Peoples' Day Indigenous Peoples' Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. It is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October, and is an official city and state h ...
(in Hawaii, "Discoverers' Day", in South Dakota, "Native American Day"). A lack of recognition or a reduced level of observance for Columbus Day is not always due to concerns about honoring Native Americans. For example, a community of predominantly Scandinavian descent may observe
Leif Erikson Day Leif Erikson Day is an annual observance that occurs on October 9. It honors Leif Erikson (Old Norse: ''Leifr Eiríksson'', is, Leifur Eiríksson, no, Leiv Eiriksson, Swedish language, Swedish: ''Leif Eriksson''), the Norse colonization of North ...
instead. In the states of
Oregon Oregon () is a U.S. state, state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington (state), Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of it ...

Oregon
and
Washington Washington commonly refers to: * Washington (state), United States * Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States ** Federal government of the United States (metonym) ** Washington metropolitan area, the metropolitan area centered on Washingt ...
, Columbus Day is not an official holiday.
Iowa Iowa () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wiscon ...

Iowa
and
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

Nevada
do not celebrate Columbus Day as an official holiday, but the states' respective governors are "authorized and requested" by statute to proclaim the day each year. Several states have removed the day as a paid holiday for state government workers, while maintaining it either as a day of recognition, or as a legal holiday for other purposes, including
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
and
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
. The practice of U.S. cities eschewing Columbus Day to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day began in 1992 with
Berkeley, California Berkeley ( ) is a city on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay in northern Alameda County, California, Alameda County, California. It is named after the 18th-century Irish people, Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley. It borders the cit ...
. The list of cities which have followed suit as of 2018 includes
Austin Austin (, ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the holding primary status in a , , , , or other , usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a that physically encompasses the government's offices and ...

Austin
;
Boise Boise () is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercas ...

Boise
;
Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a city in the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the ...

Cincinnati
;
Denver Denver () is a consolidated city and county, the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more forma ...

Denver
;
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be u ...
;
Mankato, Minnesota Mankato ( ) is a city in Blue Earth County, Minnesota, Blue Earth, Nicollet County, Minnesota, Nicollet, and Le Sueur County, Minnesota, Le Sueur counties in the state of Minnesota. The population was 44,488 according to the 2020 census, making ...
;
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
;
Portland, Oregon Portland (, ) is the list of cities in Oregon, largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat, seat of Multnomah County, Oregon, Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacif ...

Portland, Oregon
;
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
;
Santa Fe, New Mexico Santa Fe ( ; , Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigua ...

Santa Fe, New Mexico
;
Seattle Seattle ( ) is a seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front) ...

Seattle
; St. Paul, Minnesota; ;
Tacoma Tacoma ( ) is a mid-sized urban port city and the county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central admini ...
, and "dozens of others."
Columbus, Ohio Columbus is the List of US state capitals, state capital and the List of cities in Ohio, most populous city in the U.S. state of Ohio. With a population of 905,748 for the 2020 United States census, 2020 census, it is the List of United States c ...
, has chosen to honor
veterans A veteran (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the R ...
instead of
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian ...

Christopher Columbus
, and removed Columbus Day as a city holiday. Various tribal governments in Oklahoma designate the day as ''Native American Day'', or name it after their own tribe. In 2017, the city council of
Akron, Ohio Akron () is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its w ...
, became split along racial lines with the decision to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day, creating pushback from the city's Italian American community. In 2018, a compromise was reached, with the city council voting to name the first Monday of October as North American First People's Day whilst keeping Columbus Day, and in 2020, Columbus Day was renamed Italian-American Heritage and Culture Day.


Latin American observance


Día de la Raza

The date Columbus arrived in the Americas is celebrated in some countries of Latin America. The most common name for the celebration in Spanish (including some Latin American communities in the United States) is the ''Día de la Raza'' ("day of the race" or the "day of the ispanicpeople"), commemorating the first encounters of Europeans and the
Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
. The day was first celebrated in Argentina in 1917, in Venezuela and Colombia in 1921, in
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
in 1922 and in
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
it was first celebrated in 1928. The day was also celebrated under this title in Spain until 1957, when it was changed to the ''Día de la Hispanidad'' ("Hispanicity Day"), and in Venezuela it was celebrated under this title until 2002, when it was changed to the ''Día de la Resistencia Indígena'' (Day of Indigenous Resistance). Originally conceived of as a celebration of Hispanic influence in the Americas, as evidenced by the complementary celebrations in Spain and Latin America, Día de la Raza has come to be seen by nationalist activists throughout Latin America as a counter to Columbus Day; a celebration of the native races and cultures and their resistance to the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. In the United States, Día de la Raza has served as a time of mobilization for pan-ethnic
Latino Latino or Latinos most often refers to: * Latino (demonym), a term used in the United States for people with cultural ties to Latin America * Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States * The people or cultures of Latin America; ** Latin Am ...
activists, particularly since the 1960s. Since then,
La Raza The Spanish expression ('the people' or 'the community'; literal translation Literal translation, direct translation or word-for-word translation, is a translation of a text done by translating each word separately, without looking at ho ...
has served as a periodic rallying cry for Hispanic activists. The first Hispanic March on Washington occurred on Columbus Day in 1996. The name is used by the largest Hispanic social justice organization in the nation, the
National Council of La Raza UnidosUS, formerly National Council of La Raza (NCLR) (La Raza The Spanish expression ('the people' or 'the community'; literal translation Literal translation, direct translation or word-for-word translation, is a translation of a ...
.


Argentina

The Day of the Race was established in
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
in 1916 by a decree of President
Hipólito Yrigoyen Juan Hipólito del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Yrigoyen (12 July 1852 – 3 July 1933) was an Argentine politician, from the Radical Civic Union, and two-time President of Argentina The President of Argentina ( es, Presidente de Argen ...

Hipólito Yrigoyen
. The name was changed to "Day of Respect of Cultural Diversity" by a presidential decree in 2010 issued by President
Cristina Kirchner Cristina is a female given name and may refer to: * Cristina (singer), (Cristina Monet-Palaci), American singer * Cristina D'Avena (born 1964), Italian singer and actress * Cristina Bazgan, French computer scientist * Cristina Boiț, Romanian discu ...
. The statue of Columbus was removed from its original position near the
Casa Rosada The ''Casa Rosada'' (, eng, Pink House) is the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina The president of Argentina ( es, Presidente de Argentina), officially known as the president of the Argentine Nation ( es, Presidente ...

Casa Rosada
and replaced by one of , a patriot and leader in the struggle for independence who had indigenous ancestors.


Colombia

Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by conv ...

Colombia
, whose name originated from Columbus himself, celebrates ''El día de la Raza y de la Hispanidad'' (meaning "Day of the Race and ''Hispanicity''") and is taken as an opportunity to celebrate the encounter of "the two worlds" and to reflect on the richness that the racial diversity has brought to the culture.


Peru

In Peru, it was known as ''Día del descubrimiento de América'' ("Day of the discovery of America"). Since 2009, it has been celebrated as ''Día de los pueblos originarios y el diálogo intercultural'' (Indigenous Peoples and Intercultural Dialogue Day).


Venezuela

Between 1921 and 2002,
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
celebrated ''Día de la Raza'' along with many other Latin American nations. The original holiday was officially established in 1921 under President
Juan Vicente Gómez Juan Vicente Gómez Chacón (24 July 1857 – 17 December 1935) was a National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela, Venezuelan military General officer, general and ''de facto'' ruler of Venezuela from 1908 until his death in 1935. He was presi ...

Juan Vicente Gómez
. In 2002, under President
Hugo Chávez Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (, ; 28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) was a Venezuelan politician who was president of Venezuela The president of Venezuela ( es, Presidente de Venezuela), officially known as the President of the Bolivarian ...

Hugo Chávez
, the holiday was changed to ''Día de la Resistencia Indígena'' (Day of Indigenous Resistance) to commemorate the
Indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ' ...
peoples' resistance to European settlement. On October 12, 2004, a crowd of pro-government activists toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus by Rafael de la Cova in
Caracas Caracas (, ), officially Santiago de León de Caracas, abbreviated as CCS, is the capital and largest city of Venezuela, and the center of the Metropolitan Region of Caracas (or Greater Caracas). Caracas is located along the Guaire River in the ...

Caracas
. The activists also sprayed allusive
graffiti Graffiti (both singular and plural; the singular ''graffito'' is rarely used except in archeology) is a type of art genre that means writing or drawings made on a wall or other surface, usually without permission and within public view. Graf ...

graffiti
over its pedestal. The Walk where the statue had stood was renamed in 2008 "Indigenous Resistance Walk". Later a statue of an indigenous leader, Guaicaipuro, was erected on the plinth.


Costa Rica

On September 21, 1994,
Costa Rica Costa Rica (, ; ; literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica ( es, República de Costa Rica), is a country in Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Amer ...

Costa Rica
changed the official holiday from ''Día de la Raza'' to ''Día del Encuentro de las Culturas'' (Day of the Encounter of Cultures) to recognize the mix of European, Native American (autochthonous populations),
African African(s) may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa: ** People who are native to Africa, descendants of natives of Africa, or individuals who trace their ancestry to indigenous inhabitants of Africa *** Ethnic groups ...

African
and
Asian Asian may refer to: * Items from or related to the continent of Asia: ** Asian people, people in or descending from Asia ** Asian culture, the culture of the people from Asia ** Asian cuisine, food based on the style of food of the people from Asi ...
cultures that constitute modern Costa Rican (and
Latin American Latin Americans ( es, Latinoamericanos; pt, Latino-americanos; ) are the citizenship, citizens of Latin American countries (or people with cultural, ancestral or national origins in Latin America). Latin American countries and their diasporas a ...
) culture and ethnicity. In accordance to the Costa Rican labor law, the holiday is observed on October 12. However, should this date coincide with a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, the employer shall agree that said holiday be postponed to the following Monday. On 2020, Costa Rica eliminated this holiday and in exchange they now celebrate the Military Abolition Day on December 1.


Caribbean observance

Only a handful of
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
countries observe holidays related to Columbus Day. In Belize, October 12 is celebrated as Day of the Americas or Pan American Day. In the Bahamas, it was formerly known as Discovery Day, until 2001 when it was replaced by National Heroes Day. In 1937, Cuban President Federico Laredo Brú (1936–1940) spoke to the nation and countries of America in Cuba on October 12 commemorating Christopher Columbus's voyage to the New World. Federico Laredo Brú spoke about Columbus's impact on the land and the future of its settlement. He ended his speech with venerating Christopher Columbus's efforts to colonize and establish settlements along the new front and the pride of ones nation. He added "Por mi raza hablo mi espiritu," which translates to "For my race my spirit called," in order to support the political infrastructure at the time.


Columbus's Legacy in the Caribbean

December 1937, Cuban president Federico Laredo Brú and
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with ...

Dominican Republic
president Rafael Trujillo ordered a crew of aviators to travel through Latin America collecting funds from large capital cities for a monumental light house in the Dominican Republic. The exploration ''Escuadrilla Binacional Pro Faro de Colón'' was inspired by Columbus's journey across the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean to America. The expedition consisted of three Stinson Reliant SR-9 borrowed from the Cuban Revolutionary Air and Air Defense Force, Cuban Air Force - named ''Santa María (ship), Santa María'', ''Niña'' and ''Pinta (ship), La Pinta'' after the vessels commanded by Columbus - and a Curtiss-Wright CW-19, Curtiss Wright CW-19R from the Military of Dominica, Dominican military aviation named ''Colon'' after Columbus. On December 15, after visiting a majority of South America, their flight to the Peruvian capital Lima was hampered by an unexpected sandstorm. Two planes (''Colon'' and ''La Pinta'') were forced to land in Pisco, Peru, Pisco and ''Niña'' disappeared in the storm. The ''Santa Maria'' was the only plane to reach Lima as planned, landing at Las Palmas Air Base, Las Palmas on the day of the storm. After extensive searches, Nina radioed their whereabouts after their radio was damaged in the storm. The aircraft restrategized in Las Palmas and on December 29 their expedition took off from El Techo airport in Bogotá en route to El Guabito airport in
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
. Later that day, the crew flew into an unexpected storm over the Valley of Cauca. With minimal visibility and poor navigation, ''Niña'', ''La Pinta'' and ''Santa Maria'' crashed into high mountains, while ''Colon'', unaware of the other aircraft, flew over the storm and safely made it to Panama City. The plane is preserved today as remembrance of the bravery of the crew and Christopher Columbus's journey. In 1992, in remembrance of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America, the Columbus Lighthouse, in Santo Domingo Este was inaugurated. The monument is both a mausoleum and a museum showcasing objects including a boat from Cuba and Colombian jewelry. Constructed of concrete, the monument is long. Its architecture is cross-shaped and represents the Christianization of the Americas. According to the Dominican authorities, remains of
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian ...

Christopher Columbus
are sheltered at the lighthouse. However, Spanish authorities have proved through DNA tests that the remains in the Cathedral of Seville are the real remains of Columbus. The Dominican authorities haven't allowed the same DNA tests to be done to the remains in the lighthouse, so it is impossible to know if the remains of Columbus are divided or if the remains in the lighthouse belonged to another person.


European observance


Italy

Since the 18th century, many Italian communities in the Americas have observed the History of the Americas, Discovery of the New World as a celebration of their heritage;
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian ...

Christopher Columbus
(whose original, Italian name is "Cristoforo Colombo") was an Italian explorer, citizen of the Republic of Genoa.Charles Speroni, "The Development of the Columbus Day Pageant of San Francisco," ''Western Folklore'', Vol. 7, No. 4 (Oct. 1948), pp. 325–335.U.S. State Department, Bureau of International Information Programs. In Italy, Columbus Day has been officially celebrated since 2004. It is officially named ''Giornata nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo''. The "Lega Navale Italiana" has created a ''Regata di Colombo'' as a celebration of the Columbus achievement. Italians have celebrated their "Cristoforo Colombo" naming after him many civilian and military ships, like the ocean liner SS Cristoforo Colombo, SS ''Cristoforo Colombo''.


Spain

The first celebration of the Discovery of the Américas by Columbus in Spain was as early as 1642 when the city of Zaragoza designated the Virgen del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar) as symbol of the Hispanidad (Hispanicity) on the date of the Spanish expedition's arrival to the New World. This holiday was declared a religious feast day throughout the Spanish Empire in 1730.David MARCILHACY « América como factor de regeneración y cohesión para una España plural: “la Raza” y el 12 de octubre, cimientos de una identidad compuesta », Hispania (Madrid), vol. LXXIII, no. 244 (mayo-ag. 2013), p. 501-524 In 1892, the 12 of October was declared a one-time national day in commemoration of the 4th centenary of the Discovery of America and the perpetuation of the festivity was then first considered. The Spanish government suggested other nations (Hispanic American countries, Italy and the United States of America) to join the celebration, which was followed with enthusiasm by them, with a few exceptions.David MARCILHACY « Las fiestas del 12 de octubre y las conmemoraciones americanistas bajo la Restauración borbónica: España ante su pasado colonial », Revista de Historia Jerónimo Zurita (Zaragoza), n°86 (2011), p. 131-147 The Discovery of America and the Hispanicity has been celebrated as a national day since 1918 under different names like "Día de la Hispanidad" or "Dia de la Raza", due to changes of political regimes in the 20th century. The national day emphasises Spain's ties with the ''Hispanidad'', the international Hispanic community and Spanish legacy to the world. In 1981 a royal decree established the ''Fiesta Nacional y Día de la Hispanidad'' as a national holiday. However, in 1987 the name was changed again to ''Fiesta Nacional'' and October 12 became one of two national celebrations, along with Constitution Day on December 6 as part of a compromise between conservatives, who wanted to emphasize the status of the monarchy and Spain's history, and Republicans, who wanted to commemorate Spain's burgeoning democracy with an official holiday. Since 2000, October 12 has also been Spain's Armed Forces Day, Day of the Armed Forces, celebrated each year with a military parade in Madrid. The holiday is widely celebrated in Spain with official and cultural events throughout the country. Shops and businesses are closed as with other bank holidays. The observation is enhanced with the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar (Fiestas del Pilar), the so-called Mother of Hispanicity and of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Santa María de Guadalupe) (appointed Queen of Hispanicity in 1928 by the Vatican) from Guadalupe, Cáceres, Guadalupe, Cáceres, Spain, Caceres, whose Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, Monastery was the venue in June 1492 for the decisive meeting between the Catholic Monarchs and Columbus to start organising the travel and where the latter came back in 1493, right after returning from his first voyage, to thank ''Her'' for his success.


Opposition to Columbus celebrations

For years after the first Columbus Day celebration in 1892, opposition to Columbus Day originated from Know Nothing, anti-immigrant nativists who sought to eliminate its celebration because of its association with Immigration, immigrants from the Catholic Church, Catholic countries of Ireland and Italy, and the American Catholic fraternal organization, the
Knights of Columbus The Knights of Columbus (K of C) is a global Catholic The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3&nb ...
. Some Anti-Catholicism, anti-Catholics, notably including the Ku Klux Klan and the Women of the Ku Klux Klan, opposed celebrations of Columbus or monuments about him because they thought that it increased Catholic influence in the United States, which was largely a Protestant country. More recently, mainly since the 1990s, more people oppose Columbus's and other Europeans' actions against the indigenous populations of the Americas. This opposition was initially led by Native Americans and was expanded upon by Left-wing politics, left-wing political parties. In the summer of 1990, 350 representatives from American Indian groups from all over the hemisphere, met in Quito, Ecuador, at the first Intercontinental Gathering of Indigenous People in the Americas, to mobilize against the 500th anniversary (quin-centennial) celebration of Columbus Day planned for 1992. The following summer, in Davis, California, more than a hundred Native Americans gathered for a follow-up meeting to the Quito conference. They declared October 12, 1992 to be "International Day of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples' Day, Indigenous People."''A Faithful Response to the 500th Anniversary of the Arrival of Christopher Columbus in A Resolution of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA'', paragraph 1. Two surveys, conducted in 2013 and 2015 by Rasmussen Reports, found 26% to 38% of American adults are not in favor of celebrating Columbus Day. There are many interrelated strands of criticism. One refers primarily to the treatment of the Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous populations during the European colonization of the Americas, which followed Columbus's Voyages of Christopher Columbus, discovery. Some groups, such as the American Indian Movement, have argued that the ongoing actions and injustices against Native Americans are masked by Columbus myths and celebrations. American anthropologist Jack Weatherford says that on Columbus Day, Americans celebrate the greatest waves of Genocide of indigenous peoples#Colonialism and genocide in the Americas, genocide of the American Indians known in history. A second strain of criticism of Columbus Day focuses on the character of Columbus himself. In time for the 2004 observation of the day, the final volume of a compendium of Columbus-era documents was published by the University of California, Los Angeles' Medieval and Renaissance Center. It stated that Columbus, while a brilliant mariner, exploited and enslaved the indigenous population. Spelman College historian Howard Zinn described some of the details in his book, ''A People's History of the United States'', of how Columbus personally ordered the enslavement and mutilation of the native Arawak people in a bid to repay his investors. Journalist and media critic Norman Solomon reflects, in ''Columbus Day: A Clash of Myth and History'', that many people choose to hold on to the myths instead of reality in the events surrounding Columbus. He disputes the idea that the Spaniards' arrival was beneficial towards the Indians by quoting ''Bartolomé de las Casas#History of the Indies, History of the Indies'' by the Catholic priest Bartolomé de las Casas, who observed the region where Columbus was governor. Las Casas writes that the Spaniards were driven by "insatiable greed" as they killed and tortured native populations with "the strangest and most varied new methods of cruelty" and laments that "my eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write."


See also

*Age of Discovery *
Indigenous Peoples' Day Indigenous Peoples' Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. It is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October, and is an official city and state h ...
* L'Anse aux Meadows *
Leif Erikson Day Leif Erikson Day is an annual observance that occurs on October 9. It honors Leif Erikson (Old Norse: ''Leifr Eiríksson'', is, Leifur Eiríksson, no, Leiv Eiriksson, Swedish language, Swedish: ''Leif Eriksson''), the Norse colonization of North ...
* List of monuments and memorials to Christopher Columbus * Thanksgiving (Canada) * UN Spanish Language Day * World's Columbian Exposition


Notes


References


External links


Berkeley's Indigenous Peoples Day
– History of the annual celebration, pow wow and Native American market

– An article about Columbus Day at the Library of Congress
Transform Columbus Day Alliance
– Denver-based organization with background on opposition to Columbus Day {{Authority control Christopher Columbus Federal holidays in the United States Hispanidad Holidays and observances by scheduling (nth weekday of the month) International observances Italian-American culture Latin American culture Monday observances October observances Public holidays in the United States United States flag flying days Fall events in the United States