October 12, 1492 is the official opening date of the continent America. On this day, Christopher Columbus, the great seafarer of the Middle Ages, saw the Bahamas archipelago, the island of San Salvador.
After the adoption of the general reform of public holidays in 1971, Columbus Day in the USA is celebrated on the second Monday of October. The joy of modern citizens of the States on this day is completely explicable; after all, if it had not been discovered, it is not known how the wheel of history would turn, and whether there would be such a state as the United States of America in general.
But from the historical global point of view, the opinion is far from unequivocal, since the “Columbian” discovery led to complete destruction of entire cultures and peoples who were the indigenous people of America.
But, let us leave the national and historical disputes, today Columbus Day in the USA is celebrated as a truly important event for the state and is accompanied by wide-ranging diverse social events. Columbus Day hosts festive religious gatherings, ceremonies, rallies, and parades. This day is especially honored in places where the density of former Italian immigrants is high - in San Francisco, as well as in New York. The Italian communities use this holiday even more as a day of Italian culture and their historic homeland, and the rest of the US citizens gladly join them in this. Although, for example, in Nevada, California, and Hawaii, Columbus Day is not celebrated, commercial organizations are allowed to work, but government agencies are usually closed. Nobody holds special celebrations, only the US flag is hoisted over the government buildings.
Currently, on this day, the US population celebrates the anniversary of the discovery of their country, attending holiday church services and other events. In some cities special services, parades and large solemn ceremonies take place.
The story of the holiday is connected with the mistake of Christopher Columbus during his voyage. Let’s know a little bit about the same.
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Who is Christopher Columbus?
Columbus Christopher was born in the Italian Republic and is a world-famous person. And at the same time, historians and biographers are not quite sure of many facts of his biography. It is believed that he was born in the Autumn of 1451 in the port city of Genoa, or in its neighborhood, and lived there until 1472. But six more cities in Italy and Spain insist on their right to be considered the birthplace of Columbus.
In his youth, he participated in several voyages and then engaged in the preparation of geographical maps. Carefully studying the notes of the sailors and the works of scientists, Columbus firmly believed in the sphericity of the Earth.
Having settled in Spain, Columbus long-sought permission from the king to undertake an expedition across the Atlantic to search for a sea route to India. Only after 8 years, the king gave his consent. He appointed Columbus the lord of all the countries and islands to be discovered by him.
Columbus 1st Expedition consisting of 90 people on three ships left Palos on August 3, 1492, turned from the Canary Islands to the West, crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the subtropical belt, opening the Sargasso Sea, and reached San Salvador in the Bahamas archipelago.
In October 1492, three Spanish caravels anchored near the small island of the Western Hemisphere which they had discovered, named Holy Savior by Admiral Christopher Columbus San Salvador, who led the expedition. During his four expeditions, which took place between 1492 and 1504, Columbus discovered, explored and drew maps of several Central American islands, until the end of his life being sure that “from Panama to the Ganges no further than from Pisa to Genoa” and not realizing that they accidentally opened the New World.
Why Is This Day So Important For America?
The discoveries of Christopher Columbus did not bring happiness to the aborigines of the new lands. They were mercilessly exploited and massacred.
Some scientists do not want to give Columbus a palm in the discovery of America, claiming that the Normans had been there hundreds of years before his expeditions.
And, nevertheless, what Columbus did is of great historical importance, one can say that his discoveries not only changed the map but also dramatically changed the perception of our world in people's minds.
Until the end of his life, Columbus did not know that he had discovered a new continent. He called the open lands "India", and their population "Indians." This name was assigned to the natives of America.
The name Columbus is given to the state of Colombia in South America, the Colombian Plateau and the Columbia River in North America, the Federal District of Columbia in the USA and the province of British Columbia in Canada; in the USA there are five cities called Columbus and four called Columbia.