Columbus Day first became an official state holiday in Colorado in 1905, and became a federal holiday in 1934. But people have celebrated Columbus' voyage since the colonial period. In 1792, New York City and other eastern U.S. cities celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World.
In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event. During the 400-year anniversary in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used Columbus Day rituals to teach ideals of patriotism.
These patriotic rituals were framed around themes such as support for war, citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and celebrating social progress.
First landing of Columbus on the shores of the New World at San Salvador, West Indies, Oct. 12th 1492. (Source: Library of Congress - Currier and Ives Publisher)