How long have we celebrated “Columbus Day”??
Today we celebrate Columbus Day--as a national holiday, so banks will be closed,as will all state and federal agencies, and of course no mail delivery today!
The first recorded celebration took place in 1792 in New York City, but the first official holiday held in commemoration of the 1492 voyage coincided with its 400th anniversary in 1892.
President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation in which he called Columbus a “pioneer of progress and enlightenment” and suggested that Americans “cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.”
If Harrison had had his way, though, the holiday would have been celebrated on October 21. He knew that Columbus landed under the Julian calendar, not the Gregorian calendar we use today—making October 21 the correct date for anniversary celebrations.