In the United States, Columbus Day is a holiday celebrated in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus landing his ship in the Americas on October 12th, 1492. While October 12th was once the observed date for the holiday, it is now always celebrated in the U.S. on the second Monday of October, so that more people can have a three-day weekend to spend with their families.
The reason why Columbus landing in the Americas is significant is because prior to his journey, people living in Europe did not know that this huge body of land existed! Although there were other people already living in what is now South and North America, it was unknown in places like England and Spain. Columbus, in fact, had not set sail looking for America… he’d actually hoped to go to India! But, his arrival in America became a very significant day in history – what is now the U.S. might not exist if he had never arrived!
Americans now celebrate Columbus Day to remember this important journey in the making of our country.