Home > Calendar > Holidays > United States > Columbus Day

Columbus Day in United States

Quick Facts

Columbus Day celebrates the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the American continent in 1492.

Local names

NameLanguage
Columbus DayEnglish
Día de la RazaSpanish
יום קולומבוסHebrew
يوم كولومبوسArabic
콜럼버스의 날Korean
Columbus DayGerman

Columbus Day 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014 (All except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, MN, NV, OR, SD, TX, VT, WA, WI, WY)
Monday, October 13, 2014 (local in Florida)

Columbus Day 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015 (local in Florida)
Monday, October 12, 2015 (All except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, MN, NV, OR, SD, TX, VT, WA, WI, WY)
List of dates for other years

Columbus Day, which is annually on the second Monday of October, remembers Christopher Columbus' arrival to the Americas on October 12, 1492. This holiday is controversial because the European settlement in the Americas led to the demise of the history and culture of the indigenous peoples.

The Christopher Columbus monument in Barcelona, Spain.

©iStockphoto.com/Lya_Cattel

Observe Columbus Day

Officially, the people of the USA are invited to celebrate the anniversary of the discovery of their country with church services and other activities. In some towns and cities, special church services, parades and large events are held. Most celebrations are concentrated around the Italian-American community. The celebrations in New York and San Francisco are particularly noteworthy. In Hawaii Columbus Day is also known as Landing Day or Discoverer's Day.

Not all parts of the United States celebrate Columbus Day. It is not a public holiday in some states such as California, Oregon, Nevada and Hawaii. Moreover, Native Americans’ Day is celebrated in South Dakota, while Indigenous People’s Day is celebrated in Berkeley, California. 

Public life

Columbus day is a public holiday in many parts of the United states, but is not observed or is not a holiday in some states. Government offices are generally closed, but businesses may be open. Schools are not required to close and may decide to remain open or closed. People are advised to check with their school districts on Columbus Day school holiday closures. It is a legal observance in Florida.

About Columbus Day

Christopher Columbus is often portrayed as the first European to sail to the Americas. He is sometimes portrayed as the discoverer of the New World. However, this is controversial on many counts. There is evidence that the first Europeans to sail across the Atlantic were Viking explorers from Scandinavia. In addition, the land was already populated by indigenous peoples, who had 'discovered' the Americas thousands of years before.

Columbus Day originated as a celebration of Italian-American heritage and was first held in San Francisco in 1869. The first state-wide celebration was held in Colorado in 1907. In 1937, Columbus Day become a holiday across the United States. Since 1971, it has been celebrated on the second Monday in October. The date on which Columbus arrived in the Americas is also celebrated as the Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in Latin America and some Latino communities in the USA. However, it is a controversial holiday in some countries and has been re-named in others.

Columbus Day celebrations are controversial because the settlement of Europeans in the Americas led to the deaths of a very large proportion of the native people. It has been argued that this was a direct result of Columbus' actions. It is clear that the arrival of the European settlers led to the demise of a large proportion of the history and culture of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. It has also been argued that Columbus should not be honored for discovering North America, as he only went as far as some islands in the Caribbean and never got as far as mainland America.

Note: timeanddate.com states the facts and issues associated with this observance but does not disclose its opinion on the matter.

Columbus Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
MonOct 81990Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, HI, NV
MonOct 141991Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, HI, NV
MonOct 121992Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, HI, NV
MonOct 111993Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, HI, NV
MonOct 101994Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, HI, NV
MonOct 91995Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, HI, NV
MonOct 141996Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, HI, NV
MonOct 131997Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, HI, NV
MonOct 121998Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, HI, NV
MonOct 111999Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, HI, NV
MonOct 92000Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, HI, NV
MonOct 82001Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, HI, NV
MonOct 142002Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, HI, NV
MonOct 132003Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, HI, NV
MonOct 112004Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, HI, NV
MonOct 102005Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, HI, NV
MonOct 92006Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, HI, NV
MonOct 82007Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, HI, MI, NV
MonOct 132008Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, HI, MI, NV
MonOct 122009Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, NV, OR, SD, TX, WA
MonOct 112010Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, NV, OR, SD, TX, WA
MonOct 102011Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, NV, OR, SD, TX, WA
MonOct 82012Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, NV, OR, SD, TX, WA
MonOct 142013Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, NV, OR, SD, TX, WA
MonOct 132014Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, MN, NV, OR, SD, TX, VT, WA, WI, WY
MonOct 132014Columbus DayLocal observanceFlorida
MonOct 122015Columbus DayLocal observanceFlorida
MonOct 122015Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, MN, NV, OR, SD, TX, VT, WA, WI, WY
MonOct 102016Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, MN, NV, OR, SD, TX, VT, WA, WI, WY
MonOct 102016Columbus DayLocal observanceFlorida
MonOct 92017Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, MN, NV, OR, SD, TX, VT, WA, WI, WY
MonOct 92017Columbus DayLocal observanceFlorida
MonOct 82018Columbus DayLocal observanceFlorida
MonOct 82018Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, MN, NV, OR, SD, TX, VT, WA, WI, WY
MonOct 142019Columbus DayLocal observanceFlorida
MonOct 142019Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, MN, NV, OR, SD, TX, VT, WA, WI, WY
MonOct 122020Columbus DayNational holidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, MN, NV, OR, SD, TX, VT, WA, WI, WY
MonOct 122020Columbus DayLocal observanceFlorida

Related holiday

Other holidays in October 2014 in United States

Advertising

Other calendars

Related links