important update on Columbus day 2013U.S. banks are closed Monday, October 14  in observance of Columbus Day, so all scheduled payments will be rescheduled for Tuesday, October 15. Please don’t make payments from your bank account to third parties until you confirm that you’ve received your payment.

What is Columbus Day?

Columbus Day is a United States federal holiday that honors Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to America on October 12, 1492. The holiday is celebrated on the second Monday in October. There is controversy surrounding Columbus Day because the European settlement in the Americas led to the demise of the history and culture of the indigenous peoples. Not all parts of the United States celebrate Columbus Day. It is not a public holiday in California, Nevada and Hawaii. Furthermore, South Dacota celebrates Native Americans’ Day, while Berkeley, California celebrates Indigenous People’s Day. Columbus Day is also celebrated in the Bahamas, Spain, Uruguay and many Latin American countries.

5 Surprising Facts:

  • Columbus did not actually reach the American mainland until his third voyage in 1498. In 1492 he landed on an island in the Bahamas Archipelago while looking for a sea route to India. This is why he called the indigenous inhabitants, “Indians”.
  • There are accounts of European transatlantic contact with the American natives prior to 1492.
  • The term Pre-Columbian refers to the people and cultures of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus and European influence.
  • The first Columbus Day celebration was organized by The Society of St. Tammany and held in New York City in 1792.
  • During his final voyage to the west, Columbus encountered Cuban islanders who refused to trade food with him. Columbus consulted an almanac and learned that a lunar eclipse was coming, and so he threatened to “take a way the moon”. When the eclipse occurred, the natives resumed trade with the Spanish sailors out of fear.
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