Posted by: Democratic Thinker | October 12, 2009

Christopher Columbus—Now What Do You Think Of That?

October 12, 1492 (Old Style)


Landing of Columbus Oct. 11th 1492—Currier & Ives.

Take time today to remember the landing of Christopher Columbus. No other single act of a private individual has ever impacted the history of world as much.

President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed that the first federal Columbus Day holiday be celebrated on Friday, October 21, 1892, to mark the four-hundredth anniversary:

The Columbus Quarto Centenary.

The Three Caravels of Columbus.

WHEREAS, by a joint resolution approved June 29, 1892, it was resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, “That the president of the United States be authorized and directed to issue a proclamation recommending to the people the observance in all their localities of the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America, on the twenty-first of October, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, by public demonstrations and by suitable exercises in their schools and other places of assembly.”

Now, therefore, I, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States of America, in pursuance of the aforesaid joint resolution, do hereby appoint Friday, October 21, 1892, the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus, as a general holiday for the people of the United States. On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.

Columbus stood in his age as the pioneer of progress and enlightenment. The system of universal education is in our age the most prominent and salutary feature of the spirit of enlightenment, and it is peculiarly appropriate that the schools be made by the people the center of the day’s demonstration. Let the national flag float over every school house in the country, and the exercises be such as shall impress upon our youth the patriotic duties of American citizenship.

In the churches and in the other places of assembly of the people, let there be expressions of gratitude to divine Providence for the devout faith of the discoverer, and for the divine care and guidance which has directed our history and so abundantly blessed our people.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington this twenty-first day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-two, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and seventeenth.

Benj. Harrison.
By the President:
John W. Foster,
Secretary of State.