Things to know on Columbus Day 2012


Things to know on Columbus Day 2012

New York: It has been almost 500 years since Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ America.  A nationally recognised federal holiday, Columbus Day falls on Monday, October 8 this year.

While some people would love sleeping on the day, it’s a huge shopping day for many in the US.

The day remembers Italian explorer Columbus’ long journey across the Atlantic Ocean to the “New World”. The voyage was victorious when he first spotted land on October 12, 1492.

The day is also considered a celebration of Italian heritage.

In the US, the day is not unanimous. For example, South Dakota changed the second Monday in October from Columbus Day to Native American Day 22 years ago. The step was to honour the indigenous people who suffered massively after Columbus’ discovery.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first to make the holiday a federal one in 1937.

Below is the list, taken from, of dates and numbers that are significant for the day

1451: Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy.

1492: Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered ‘The New World.’

15: Age he became a sailor.

3: Number of ships the city of Palos gave Columbus – The Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.

2: The number of ships that made the return trip. The Santa Maria ran aground and had to be abandoned.

35: The number of days it took for the first sailor to spot land.

1506: The year Columbus died.

1992: The 500th anniversary was celebrated.

1504: Christopher Columbus stopped sailing the ocean blue after three voyages.

1843: 400 years after his first voyage, Columbus’ likeness was placed on a U.S. postage stamp.

1792: The first monument for Columbus was erected on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the discovery in Baltimore, MD.

17: Number of ships used during the second voyage.

90: Men set sail with Columbus during his first voyage.

40: The number of men Columbus left behind on the island of Hispaniola because there was no room on the two remaining ships.

2004: The year supporters of Hugo Chavez destroyed a 100-year old statue of Columbus in Caracas, Venezuela.

1937: Year Columbus Day was declared a national holiday.

2: Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October.

3780: The approximate distance in miles from Portugal to Bavaro at the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is on the island of Hispaniola, where Columbus is thought to have first landed.

1892: President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage with patriotic festivities.

1971: Originally observed every Oct. 12, it was this year Columbus Day was fixed to be celebrated the second Monday in October.

19: Opposition to Columbus Day dates back to the 19th century, when anti-immigrant groups in the United States rejected the holiday because of its association with Catholicism.

1502: Columbus reached Central America on his third voyage.

23: Number of people who testified against him, charging him with atrocities and cruelty while he was governor of the colony Hispaniola.

0: Number of paintings based on what he actually looks likes.

13: Number of places in the US named after Christopher Columbus. (Columbia, MD, Columbia, MO, Columbia SC, Columbus, GA, Columbus, IN, Columbus, MS, Columbus, WI, Columbus, OH, District of Columbia, Colombian County, OH, Colombian, OH, Columbia County, PA and Columbus Circle, NY.)