For many, Columbus Day means little more than a three-day weekend.
While a federal holiday, it is not typically celebrated or paraded in
any particular way and three states do not even formally recognize it.
Yet, our country may not exist as it does today without the courage of the day’s namesake.
So, in honor of Columbus and his holiday, here are some quick and interesting facts:
- Columbus landed in the Bahamas for the first time on Oct. 12.
The holiday, however, is always celebrated on the second Monday in
October, even if that day is not the 12th.
- Cowboys might do well to call Columbus their patron saint. After
all, it was Columbus who introduced horses to the Americas. Technically,
a breed of horses existed in the Americas beforehand but migrated away
to other parts of the world. Until Columbus, Native Americans had not
seen horses in thousands of years.
- Called Columbus Day in the U.S., the holiday has several other
names: “Discovery Day” in the Bahamas, “Día de las Americas” in Uruguay,
“Día de la Hispanidad” in Europe, and “Día de la Raza” in Latin
- Many think of Columbus’ fleet as including three ships – the Nina,
the Pinta and the Santa Maria. But, in truth, only two ships managed to
make the full round trip. The Santa Maria was wrecked on Christmas Day
- Columbus Day first became a state holiday in 1906 in Colorado, and
first became a federal holiday in 1937. However, three states (Hawaii,
Alaska and South Dakota) do not recognize it at all.
- Columbus’ final resting place is unknown. He was buried and
re-buried several times around the world, including in Spain and