Columbus Day is a federal U.S. holiday that commemorates the voyage and landing of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. Columbus Day also speaks to the thirst for adventure, exploration, and possibilities that embodies the spirit of America. Columbus represents many early explorers and dreamers who reached for opportunity and not only dreamed, but acted.
The anniversary of his landing in the New World was first formally celebrated in 1792, by the Columbian Order (Society of St. Tammany) in New York City.
Today many banks, federal and state offices are closed, as are most schools. Columbus Day is not observed as a public holiday everywhere, so most workplaces do not close for the day, but individual companies vary.