Columbus Day events vary in US and world

Published 11:55 am Monday, October 12, 2015

Today is Columbus Day, the day when we celebrate Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas back in 1492.

While there is some controversy over Columbus Day being a national holiday and some cities are using this day to celebrate Native Americans instead, this is an important discovery in the history of mankind.

Countries around the world celebrate Columbus Day, not just North America, which even further shows its significance to the world as we know it now. It was first celebrated in the 1800s on a smaller scale in cities and classrooms to promote a spirit of patriotism prior to large-scale observances. Columbus Day was actually first celebrated in Colorado in 1906 as a state holiday and then became a federal holiday in 1937. 

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Now, observances for the holiday vary. Here in Oxford many people will enjoy a day off work, while others won’t. There aren’t any large celebrations planned. It’s more of a “day of observance.” However, in San Francisco and New York City, residents will enjoy large parades today.

Also, an interesting fact is Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon and South Dakota do not recognize Columbus Day at all. Also, Iowa and Nevada governors proclaim the day each year, but the day is not commemorated in the state.

America is a melting pot and those roots can be traced back to Christopher Columbus exploring the world in search of new land. Because it is a melting pot, we have people of different ancestries and backgrounds living together, and seemingly every holiday offends or is not celebrated by a certain segment of the population. It is just fine for cities or Americans to not hold an observance on Columbus Day or use it to celebrate something else. That’s what America was founded for — freedom. The important thing for today is to note that in the year 1492 the course of history in the world was forever changed and we are all now here in the United States, considerably the best country in the world. We were all able to celebrate homecoming festivities last week, an Ole Miss victory and enjoy a beautiful fall weekend.

Whatever you celebrate today, smile for being alive, being in a prosperous city, county and region and be kind to your fellow man.