This year, October 9th is Columbus Day! Christopher Columbus set sail on a voyage to find a shorter trade route to Asia. He traveled west and accidentally landed in the Americas, spawning the era of European exploration in the New World.
The first celebration of his discovery didn’t take happen until October 12, 1792—exactly 300 years after his landing. In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, observed each year on the second Monday of October.
- In recent years, this day has become pretty controversial – considering his brutal treatment of Native Americans. To that end, there has been a growing trend to replace ‘Columbus Day’ with Indigenous Peoples Day or Native American Day. And in fact, at least four states do not celebrate Columbus Day (Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and South Dakota) with South Dakota officially celebrating Native American Day instead – and California going with Indigenous Peoples Day.