1792 

The first celebration commemorating Christopher Columbus's landing in the New World takes place in New York City on the 300th anniversary of his arrival. It was organized by the Society of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order, widely known as Tammany Hall.

1860s
Italian immigrants in New York (1866) and in San Francisco (1869) commemorate Columbus Day as a celebration of their ethnic heritage. The celebration of Columbus an Italian who sailed under the Spanish flag--remained a celebration limited to the Italian community for many decades. Most Americans viewed their history as stemming from Britain, and did not identify with earlier explorations of the New World.

1892
President Benjamin Harrison issues a presidential proclamation on the 400th anniversary of Columbus' first voyage, urging Americans to commemorate the day as a holiday. The Pledge of Allegiance is recited publicly for the first time during the celebration.

1905
Colorado becomes the first state to officially observe the holiday.

1937
President Franklin Roosevelt proclaims Oct. 12 as Columbus Day.

1968
President Lyndon B. Johnson declares Columbus Day a federal public holiday, to be celebrated on the second Monday in October, rather than on Oct. 12. The new Uniform Monday Holiday Act goes into effect in 1971.

1980s
Historians, activists, and American First Nations question Columbus's status as an icon in American history, rejecting the Eurocentric view that Columbus "discovered" America the land had been populated by native peoples for millennia.