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For much of its history, the United States considered Columbus a man worthy of admiration. Columbus Day is one of America’s oldest patriotic holidays, first celebrated in the 18th century. It was first celebrated on October 12, 1792, when the New York Society of Tammany honored Columbus on the 300th anniversary of his first voyage. America has more monuments to Columbus than any other nation in the world.
Columbus celebrates the beginning of cultural exchange between America and Europe. After Columbus, millions of European immigrants brought their art, music, science, medicine, philosophy and religious principles to America. These contributions have helped shape the United States and include Greek democracy, Roman law, Judeo-Christian ethics and the belief that all men are created equal.
Columbus Day recognizes the achievements of a great Renaissance explorer who founded the first permanent European settlement in the New World. The arrival of Columbus in 1492 marks the beginning of recorded history in America and opened relations between the Americas and the rest of the world.
Columbus Day is one of America’s oldest holiday, and is a patriotic holiday. In fact, the Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 in honor of the 400th anniversary of his first voyage. That year, President Benjamin Harrison declared Columbus Day a legal holiday.
Currently, the Commission for Social Justice is collecting signatures to Save Columbus Day. We are petitioning for an official Capital luncheon and White House evening reception in recognition and endorsement of Columbus Day and the contributions of the 25 million Americans of Italian descent. With our holiday consistently under attack, we are asking the White House to rededicate the Presidency to both the holiday and to our community. We also ask the President to host an official yearly signing ceremony in celebration of Columbus Day, the Italian American community and the importance of the immigrant experience in the making of our great nation. Columbus Day represents not only the accomplishments and contributions of Italian Americans, but also the indelible spirit of risk, sacrifice and self- reliance of a great Italian icon that defines the United States of America. Click here to sign the petition.
For more information on Columbus Day, check out Columbus: Fact vs. Fiction.
We are proud to spotlight the many businesses who support our efforts, and many of these companies offer perks and discounts to our members!