Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Columbus Day!

According to the Wikipedia website, today is "...celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States, as Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in many countries in Latin America, as Día de las Culturas (Day of the Cultures) in Costa Rica, as Discovery Day in The Bahamas, as Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain, as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Uruguay and as Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) in Venezuela."

It goes on to say, "Columbus Day first became an official state holiday in Colorado in 1905, and became a federal holiday in 1934. But people have celebrated Columbus' voyage since the colonial period. In 1792, New York City and other eastern U.S. cities celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event. During the 400-year anniversary in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used Columbus Day rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These patriotic rituals were framed around themes such as support for war, citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and celebrating social progress."

Many nations have issued stamps honoring Columbus including the United States. In 1893 the U.S. issued a series of 16 stamps marking the 400th anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. They are widely considered to be the first commemorative stamps ever issued by any country.

Shown above, the $5 value of that series.

To learn more about Columbus and his voyages, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM