The History of Columbus Day
This holiday commemorates Christopher Columbus's landing in the West Indies on October 12, 1492. It has been traditionally celebrated on Oct. 12 throughout most of the United States, parts of Canada, and in several of the Latin American republics. In the United States, however, since the observation in 1971 of the Uniform Holiday Act, it is celebrated on the Monday nearest to October 12. Quite likely the first celebration of Columbus Day was organized in 1792 by the Society of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order, widely known as Tammany Hall.