Columbus Day 2013 falls on Monday, Oct. 14. Here’s some facts about Christopher Columbus and the day — some you may know but some may be a little surprising.
1. Columbus Went a Little Lunar Loony
During his travels, Columbus became stranded on Cuba and the native islanders got a little upset with him and his crew, according to the Holidays Central Web site. They withheld food from Columbus, who reportedly took to the almanac and told the islanders that he would take away the moon.
He might not have gotten away with that tall tale, except that there was a lunar eclipse. After that, the natives resumed trading with Columbus and his crew.
2. Colorado & Columbus
3. Controversial Columbus
Some people choose not to celebrate Columbus Day for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is a belief that Columbus’ travels indirectly led to the American colonization and the subsequent deaths due to the introduction of infectious diseases like smallpox and influenza, according to the History Channel Web site.
4. What Else Did Columbus Introduce?
Wheat, barley, rye, sugar, bananas, citrus fruits and horses, according to the Learn NC Web site.
5. States That Don’t Observe Columbus Day
Three states don’t recognize Columbus Day, according to Wikipedia’s page on Columbus Day. Those states are Alaska, Hawaii and South Dakota.
Two of those states honor a different moment in history. Discoverers’ Day is celebrated in Hawaii, in honor of its day of discovery by Polynesians. South Dakota observes Native American Day.
6. Once a Traveler, Always a Traveler
Columbus was quite the wanderer, even after his death. His remains may have been moved at least five times, according to an NBC News report.