For many, Columbus Day means little more than a three-day weekend. For others, it is a day dedicated to acquiring the best deals at Best Buy! While Columbus Day is a federal holiday, it is not typically celebrated or paraded in any particular way. In fact, three states do not even formally recognize Columbus Day, as a holiday.
To honor these past 522 years, since the discovery of the Americas, here are some quick and interesting facts:
1. Cristoforo Colombo, also known as, Christopher Columbus was born in in the year 1450 in the Republic of Genoa, Italy.
2. Contrary to popular belief, Christopher Columbus did not discover that the earth was round. Our fourth grade teachers had it all wrong! In the sixth century B.C., scholars referred to the earth as a sphere, and educated Europeans during Columbus’s time did not believe the earth was flat.
3. Columbus first expedition began in august, 1492. His voyage consisted of three ships: The Santa Maria, The Niña, and The Pinta.
4. Columbus landed in the Bahamas for the first time on Oct. 12, 1492. He never set a foot in North American soil.
5. Columbus day was not always celebrated in the United States, in fact, it wasn’t until 1937, when President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed October 12th — the actual date Columbus set foot on San Salvador Island in 1492 — as the official date for the annual holiday of Columbus Day.
6. In 1971, Congress moved the date to the second Monday of October.
7. Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, and South Dakota are U.S. states that do not recognize Columbus Day at all, though Hawaii and South Dakota mark the day with an alternative holiday or observance of Columbus’ discovery.
8. Retailers use Columbus Day to make room for holiday merchandise. It is one of the best days of the year to find great deals!
9. Columbus never meant to ‘discover’ a new continent on his voyages; he had intended to find a westward route to the East Indies with the hopes of giving Spain the upper hand in the lucrative Asian spice trade.
10. Columbus was first buried in Spain, however, his remains were later moved to Santo Domingo in the new world and back, again, to Spain.
*** BONUS: A lot of people decide to get Marry on that weekend, because it is a long weekend.