Columbus Day is observed in the United States on the second Monday every October. It commemorates Christopher Columbus and his journey to what was then known as the New World.
Columbus Day will be observed on October 14, 2019.
He arrived in the Americas on October 12, 1492. The holiday has become more controversial in recent decades thanks to the growing awareness of the plight of the indigenous peoples. The native people were affected by Columbus’ discovery, the following European migration, and conflicts that arose from that migration.
Christopher Columbus: Not the First European to Set Foot in America
One of the myths of Columbus Day has been that Christopher Columbus was the first European to arrive on what would eventually become American shores. Leif Erikson, an Icelandic Viking, made the journey 500 years prior to Columbus’ expedition,
Erickson’s feat did not result with the same immigration of Europeans to these shores that Columbus’ voyage inspired. This is the primary reason why Christopher Columbus receives the credit that Leif Erikson does not.
Another European explorer named John Cabot was the first non-Viking to set foot in America on written record in 1497. Some sources speculate that the reason Cabot was not given credit in American history books was due to the fact that he sailed for England. Cabot claimed the land for the British crown, which was a controversial point later with the American Revolution.