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Monday, October 10, 2005

Patently Patriotic Post of the Week (10/10/05)

Columbus Day honors Christopher Columbus' first voyage to America in 1492. Columbus Day became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1971. It is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Before 1971, a number of states celebrated Columbus Day on October 12. Cities and organizations sponsor parades and banquets on Columbus Day.

The first Columbus Day celebration was held in 1792, when New York City celebrated the 300th anniversary of the landing. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event. Columbus Day has been celebrated annually since 1920.

Although the land Columbus reached was not named after him, many monuments honor him. The Republic of Colombia in South America and the District of Columbia in the United States bear his name. So do towns, rivers, streets, and public buildings. The name Columbia has also been used as a poetic personification of the United States . The Columbus Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., contains about 350,000 volumes on the American republics.

Excerpt from the World Book Encyclopedia