Did you know that although Columbus Day has been celebrated since the 1700s, it didn’t become a federal holiday until 1934? The United States and several other countries celebrate the day that Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas. Here are a few quick facts about the history of Columbus Day.
1. Columbus and his crew of 90 men set sail in August of 1492. 35 days later, they spotted land.
2. The Niña, The Pinta, and The Santa Maria originally set sail to reach India, China, and the Asian islands in search of spices and gold. Instead, they found the “New World” when they came upon the Bahamas.
3. Columbus Day was previously celebrated on October 12th but is now celebrated on the second Monday in October.
4. Christopher Columbus Died in 1506, at the age of 55.
5. South Dakota, Florida, Vermont, New Mexico, Maine, Alaska, and Hawaii no longer recognize Columbus Day. It has been replaced with other celebrations such as Indigenous people Day, Discoverers’ Day, and native American Day. This change in celebration is likely to become more widely recognized.
6. Columbus started sailing when he was only 15 years old.
7. The Santa Maria never made the journey home. It ran aground on Christmas day, stranding 40 men who could not fit on the other ships. They stayed behind on the island of Hispaniola.