| Share
 

Columbus Day Timeline

The first commemoration of Columbus took place in 1792

by Borgna Brunner
1792

The first celebration commemorating Christopher Columbus's landing in the New World takes place in New York City on the 300th anniversary of his arrival. It was organized by the Society of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order, widely known as Tammany Hall.

1860s Christopher Columbus

Italian immigrants in New York (1866) and in San Francisco (1869) commemorate Columbus Day as a celebration of their ethnic heritage. The celebration of Columbus—an Italian who sailed under the Spanish flag--remained a celebration limited to the Italian community for many decades. Most Americans viewed their history as stemming from Britain, and did not identify with earlier explorations of the New World.

1892

President Benjamin Harrison issues a presidential proclamation on the 400th anniversary of Columbus' first voyage, urging Americans to commemorate the day as a holiday. The Pledge of Allegiance is recited publicly for the first time during the celebration.

1905

Colorado becomes the first state to officially observe the holiday.

1937

President Franklin Roosevelt proclaims Oct. 12 as Columbus Day.

1968

President Lyndon B. Johnson declares Columbus Day a federal public holiday, to be celebrated on the second Monday in October, rather than on Oct. 12. The new Uniform Monday Holiday Act goes into effect in 1971.

1980s

Historians, activists, and American Indians question Columbus's status as an icon in American history, rejecting the Eurocentric view that Columbus "discovered" America—the land had been populated by native peoples for millennia.

Related Links

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know?
The worst U.S. railroad disaster took place near Nashville in 1918.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring