Columbus Day, a day celebrating the arrival of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus to the New World in 1492, was celebrated for the first time by New York City political organization Tammany Hall in 1792. In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared it a national holiday.
Although Columbus’ history is steeped in controversy, his accomplishments have had an undeniable impact on our nation. “Columbus represents the spirit of discovery and the indomitable spirit of America to triumph over every adversity– the very spirit of America,” says Dr. Joseph Scelsa, founder of the Italian American Museum in Little Italy.
Whether or not you choose to celebrate the man himself, the long Columbus Day weekend is the perfect time to get a taste of New York’s Italian American culture, from delicious food to rich history and world-renowned art.