Many countries in the New World and elsewhere celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, which occurred on October 12, 1492, as an official holiday.The event is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States, as Día de la Raza in many countries in the Americas, as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, as Día de la Hispanidad and FiestaNacional in Spain and as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Uruguay. These holidays have been celebrated unofficially since the late 18th century, and officially in various countries since the early 20th century.Local observance of Columbus DayActual observance varies in different parts of the United States, ranging from large-scale parades and events to complete non-observance. Most states celebrateColumbus Day as an official state holiday, though many mark it as a "Day of Observance" or "Recognition" and two do not recognize it at all. Some states close schools and other state services, whileothers operate as normal
Non-observanceHawaii and South Dakota are the two states that do not recognize Columbus Day at all, though both mark the day with an alternative holiday or observance. Hawaiicelebrates Discoverer's Day, which commemorates the Polynesian discoverers of Hawaii on the same date, the second Monday of October though the name change has not ended protest related to theobservance of Columbus's discovery
California has removed the day as a paid holiday for government workers though there is some controversy on whether it has been removed as a state holiday. Texasalso has removed the day as a paid holiday for state government workers, although it remains a recognition day on which all public offices are open.
Opposition to Columbus celebrationsOpposition toColumbus Day dates to at least the 19th century, when activists sought to eradicate Columbus Day celebrations because they thought they were being used to expandCatholic influence[citation...