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Columbus Day

noun
1.
a day, October 12, observed as a holiday in various states of the U.S. in honor of the discovery of the New World by Columbus and his landing in the West Indies on October 12, 1492: observed in some states as the second Monday in October.
Origin
1890-1895
1890-95, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Columbus Day

Columbus Day

noun
1.
Oct 12, a legal holiday in most states of the US: the date of Columbus' landing in the West Indies (Caribbean) in 1492
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for Columbus Day

in the United States, holiday (originally October 12; since 1971 the second Monday in October) to commemorate the landing of Christopher Columbus on October 12, 1492, in the New World. Although his explorations were financed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, Columbus was a native of Genoa, Italy, and over the years Italian Americans took up the cause of honouring his achievement. The 300th anniversary of his landing was celebrated in New York City in 1792 by the Society of St. Tammany, or Columbian Order, and the 400th anniversary, in 1892, by presidential proclamation nationwide. During the latter half of the 19th century, the day began to be celebrated in cities with large numbers of Italian Americans, and in 1937 it became a national holiday by presidential proclamation. The day came to be marked by parades, often including floats depicting the ships of Columbus, and by public ceremonies and festivities. By the quincentennial in 1992, the holiday was an occasion for discussing the European conquest of American Indians, and some people objected to celebrating the event and proposed alternatives, among them Indigenous Peoples Day

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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