Remember being taught in elementary school, “Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492”? And over 500 years later we close down banks and don’t get any mail for this day! Well, today is the day we commemorate his travels that have discovered the New World of the Americas!

In America, we consider this a federal holiday, but a lot of people still go about their daily lives. So, what’s so important about this day that we shut down government facilities in the first place?

The Italian explorer and adventurer, Christopher Columbus, accidentally came across seas to find the New World and bring its spoils back to Italy, all the while exploring what this new land would have to offer Europe. He meant to go to Asia, but those pesky waters drifted him elsewhere. At first, he found the Carribean and landed at the Bahamas – not a bad trip idea after all that sailing!

He went back and forth from Europe to the Caribbean a few times but soon he and his crew made their way to what we know now as North America and discovered new people and a new land filled with things none of them have ever seen before! It actually took him 3 trips to realize he wasn’t in Asia at all, but in an entirely new part of the world.

The day is meant to celebrate the time that Europe had finally discovered the land that is the Americas and they could soon see more of the world rather than what they had only known in Europe. America grew many crops like corn and tobacco that were either never heard of or were scarce in Europe and soon trade became available between the two lands. This is also a day to celebrate Italian-Americans in the United States since it is from their heritage that the Americas and Caribbean were finally known to the other side of the world. For these accomplishments, the Federal Government takes the second Monday of October off to relax in this New World.

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