Monday, October 08, 2007

Columbus Day

Maybe we should all go to Luigi's. Of course it makes a convenient federal Monday holiday for October.

It is believed that the first celebration of the discovery of America occurred in New York, on October 12, 1792, when the order of Columbia held a dinner in order of Columbus. At that time the only statue of the great discoverer in existence was situated in New York. However, when we celebrated our centennial in 1876, the Italian citizens of Philadelphia had collected enough money to erect a statue of their compatriot in Fairmount Park.
Congress voted funds to help state an international exposition as a tribute to the historic event and to Columbus himself. The Columbian Exposition took place in Chicago in the summer of 1893 because it was not possible to complete the buildings in time for an observance in 1892. It was attended by millions of visitors from all over the world. Congress also asked the President to issue a proclamation urging all Americans to observe the four hundredth anniversary of our continent "by suitable exercises in their schools, and other places of assembly."
In 1905, the governor of Colorado asked the people of his state to celebrate the anniversary; in 1906, the mayor of Chicago made a similar request of the citizens. The Knights of Columbus also kept urging the states to make the date a legal holiday. Such a bill became a law in New York in 1909.

Of there are some other ideas.

Police arrested American Indian Movement leader Russell Means and 83 protesters at today's Columbus Day parade for blocking the route.

But there were no major incidents or violent behavior, police said.

At least 500 people protested, and many of them came prepared to draw attention and go to jail over their belief that the Italian American celebration has racist roots.

Let'em go protest in their casinos.



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