Ninth Grade Literature
18 January 2013
Columbus Day is celebrated on October 12 each year in the United States. Columbus Day is the celebration of honoring Christopher Columbus for discovering the Americas (Ruggiero).
Columbus Day originated when Americans wanted their nation to be recognized for what had been accomplished. They sought after ways to contribute to Christopher Columbus, for he was credited with finding the New World and symbolized their freedom and liberty (Mattern 43). The Society of St. Tammany, a group that commemorated rights and freedoms, planned for Columbus Day to be celebrated in New York City on October 12 annually. These celebrations inspired other cities in America to hold them, too (Mattern 46, 49). By 1938, Columbus Day was observed in thirty-four states. Franklin Roosevelt, who was in office that same year, declared that Columbus Day is to be held on every October 12 (Mattern 53).
Columbus Day is a cultural holiday. On this day, many Americans honor Columbus, because he played a significant role in their country’s history (Mattern 55). Also, this day is especially important to Italian Americans because Columbus, an Italian immigrant, gave them pride because of what he did. He was their motivation for escaping discrimination and starting new lives in America (Mattern 56). Columbus Day is also a day for Americans to show patriotism, especially children. In school on this holiday, the kids learn about Christopher Columbus’ voyages and how he should be a role model for them (Mattern 56-57).
There are many ways Americans can celebrate Columbus Day. Parades, which are held in big cities, include marching bands, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops, and organizations that are affiliated with Catholics and Italian Americans (Mattern 65). Italian food is served at festivals, where there is also dancing and celebrating. Street paintings and booths are some of the main attractions (Mattern 66). However, most...