Columbus Day is a national holiday in several countries in North and South America. It is also celebrated in Spain and Italy. The day celebrates the anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World. Christopher Columbus was an explorer and navigator who was a native of Genoa, Italy. He is known as ‘the man who discovered America’. He was hoping to find a new route to India when he landed in the New World on October 12th 1492. His discovery changed the course of world history.
Columbus had failed to get support from Portugal, France and England for his ‘enterprise of the Indies’. However, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain agreed to sponsor the Expedition. On August 3rd 1492 Columbus sailed from Palos de la Frontera in Southwestern Spain. Ten weeks later he landed in the Bahamas. He believed he had discovered a new route to India. He claimed all the newly discovered territories for Spain.
The first celebration of Columbus Day was held in New York City in 1792. In the same year the first monument honouring Christopher Columbus was dedicated in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1892, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Columbus landing the original version of the Pledge of Allegiance was first recited in public schools in the United States. The celebration of Columbus Day has been opposed by various groups and organisations in recent years.
Columbus Day, on the anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World, is celebrated every year On This Day.