The second Monday in October marks Columbus Day in the US, named for the Italian explorer who ‘discovered’ the Americas when he was expecting to land in Asia.
Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas on 12 October 1492, the date which marked the US holiday up to 1970. From that point it was moved to the second Monday in October – the same day as Thanksgiving in Canada.
The day has no shortage of detractors, from anti-Columbus protesters who oppose a celebration marking the beginning of violent European colonisation, to those who question the logic in honouring Columbus when his role in discovering the Americas has long been discounted.
For starters, the first European explorers to reach these lands were on a Norse expedition led by Leif Erikson in the 11th century, while others claim this title was claimed by Ireland’s own St Brendan ‘The Navigator’ as far back as the sixth century.
Despite all of that, Columbus Day endures, inspiring online commenters to question its existence the best way they know how – through memes.