by ANDREA FRENCH Section Editor
Columbus Day is Monday, October 8, and for most students around the country that means no school. Even though this holiday is frequently overlooked, it celebrates the day that Christopher Columbus came to the Americas on October 12, 1492, but Columbus Day did not become a national holiday until around 1937.
Columbus was an Italian-born man, backed by monarchs Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain to explore westward. Originally he thought that he was going to explore China and other lands nearby, but instead ended up in the Bahamas, and then became the first European to explore the Americas, other than the Vikings. In 1493, he returned to Spain with many goods from ‘China’. He took many trips back to the Americas, and by his third trip, he realized that he had not gone to Asia, but instead came upon a continent unknown to the Europeans.
Columbus Day falls on the second Monday in October. The holiday is controversial because when Columbus came to America, it eventually led to the downfall of the aboriginal culture.
“Even though Columbus day is sometimes criticized because there were natives in the Americas before Columbus came, he was responsible for discovering the Americas for the civilized world,” says sophomore Amanda Campanaro.
Typically in America, people celebrate with some church services and many other activites. In some towns, there are parades and special church services. Columbus Day is celebrated mainly within the Italian American community. The two cities most well known for celebrating Columbus Day are New York and San Fransico. In Hawaii, it is typically referred to as Discoverer’s Day or Landing Day.
“On Columbus Day I try to think about all the good things about our nation, and I am so excited that we get off from school,” says sophomore Catarina Santo.