NIAF Statement on Christopher Columbus Holiday

Oct 18, 2018 430

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) supports Christopher Columbus Day and opposes public campaigns that advocate for its elimination as a federal holiday. As an organization devoted to the promotion and preservation of Italian American heritage, we support unequivocally keeping Columbus Day as a federal holiday. We believe that Columbus’s courageous voyage was the catalyst that initiated over 500 years of immigration to the Americas by people from every corner of the earth who were seeking a better life for their families.

The intent and spirit of Columbus Day was to evoke national pride for our young nation and the roots of the holiday can be traced back to the 18th century. After gaining independence, America was searching for symbols that set its identity apart from Europe’s. The first reported Columbus Day celebration was held in New York in October 1792 to mark the tricentennial of his voyage.

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