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All Columbus Day Reading, Games and Worksheets
Although Columbus Day is a Federal holiday, not all states officially observe it. Hawaii, for instance, celebrates Discoverers' Day instead, which honors the Polynesian discoverers of Hawaii.
South Dakota is one of the few states that does not observe Columbus Day. Instead, since 1990, the second Monday in October has been celebrated as Native American Day there.
On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World, opening a new era of European exploration and colonization. Columbus Day is a commemoration of that event.
Canada is one of the few countries in the Western hemisphere that does not observe Columbus Day. Coincidentally, however, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October, which is Columbus Day in the United States.
Christopher Columbus initially tried to persuade Portugal to finance his attempt to reach Asia by sailing west. The Portuguese, however, chose to pursue an eastern route around the tip of Africa.
Columbus left the Spanish Canary Islands in September of 1492. He sailed west across the Atlantic hoping to reach Asia. After 5 weeks at sea he arrived at a Caribbean island believing that he had achieved his goal.
Columbus Day celebrates the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus. Columbus led an expedition of three ships which landed in the Americas on October 12, 1492.
Christopher Columbus was a European explorer whose four voyages to the Americas began the widespread, permanent European colonization of the New World.
The Norwegian explorer Leif Ericson sailed to the New World nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus. His discovery did not, however, lead to further widespread exploration or permanent settlements.
When Columbus set sail in 1492 he hoped to reach Asia by sailing west across the Atlantic rather than east around Africa. When he spotted the Bahamas he believed they were the East Indies.
Because Christopher Columbus was born in what is now Italy, Columbus Day has been embraced by many Italian and Catholic communities as a celebration of their Italian-American heritage.
When Columbus encountered the native people of the Americas he called them Indians because he believed that he had succeeded in reaching the East Indies.
Columbus Day is marked by large parades in cities such as New York and San Francisco. These parades celebrate the contributions of the Italian-American community to American life.
Christopher Columbus underestimated the distance to China and Japan and did not know about the Pacific Ocean. He believed that he could reach Asia by crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
Although Christopher Columbus was not the first European to reach the Americas, his voyages marked the beginning of widespread exploration and colonization of the New World.
The celebration of Columbus Day is opposed by some on the grounds that the voyages of Christopher Columbus led to the destruction of the native American societies of the New World.