Happy Columbus Day

Photo: Tonie AuerBy Tonie Auer
DFW Chapter President

In honor of Columbus Day, the ASBPE National Blog is taking a much-deserved day off. But, in honor of this historic day that most of us know very little about, I thought I’d do a bit of research.

According to the History Channel, the first recorded celebration honoring the discovery of America by Europeans took place on Oct. 12, 1792, in New York City. The event, which celebrated the 300th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the New World, was organized by The Society of St. Tammany (also known as the Columbian Order). San Francisco’s Italian community held its first Columbus Day celebration in 1869. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison urged citizens to participate in the the 400th anniversary celebration of Columbus’ first voyage. It was during this event that the Pledge of Allegiance, written by Francis Bellamy, was recited publically for the first time.

Colorado was the first state to observe the holiday in 1905. In 1937, President Roosevelt proclaimed Oct. 12 as “Columbus Day” and in 1971, President Nixon declared the second Monday of October a national holiday.

So, there you go. Am I the only one who didn’t know about the holiday’s significance in regard to the Pledge of Allegiance? That is pretty fascinating. Enjoy the holiday and we’ll resume our blog posts on Thursday Oct. 15.

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