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Happy Columbus Day!

Today is the day we celebrate the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus:

Columbus Day is a U.S. holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. It was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states as early as the 18th century but did not become a federal holiday until the 1937. For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage.

You can learn more by following the link above. Interestingly, according to the History Channel, the first Columbus Day celebration originated from New York’s Columbian Order:

The first Columbus Day celebration took place in 1792, when New York’s Columbian Order–better known as Tammany Hall–held an event to commemorate the historic landing’s 300th anniversary. Taking pride in Columbus’ birthplace and faith, Italian and Catholic communities in various parts of the country began organizing annual religious ceremonies and parades in his honor . . .

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, largely as a result of intense lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic fraternal benefits organization. Originally observed every October 12, it was fixed to the second Monday in October in 1971.

Below are several pictures I took during New York City’s Columbus Day Parade last year.

Information regarding this year’s parade can be found here:

The Columbus Day Parade begins at 11:30 a.m. and lasts until 3 p.m. beginning on Fifth Avenue at 44th Street and continuing north along Fifth Avenue to 79th Street.

The Columbus Day Parade has been organized by the Columbus Citizens Foundation in New York since 1929. Over 35,000 people participate in the parade in New York City. The parade attracts nearly one million spectators and is the largest celebration of Italian-American culture in the world.

Columbus Day mass takes place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (50th Street/Fifth Avenue) at 9:30 a.m.

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