In 1892, NYC celebrated an entire Columbus Week

Posted On Mon, October 10, 2016 By

Posted On Mon, October 10, 2016 By In History, holidays

1892 Columbus Day parade, via NYPL

Annually, the Columbus Day parade draws nearly a million viewers to Fifth Avenue, but that’s nothing compared to the festivities of 1892, when New Yorkers celebrated the 400th anniversary of the Italian explorer’s Caribbean landing for seven full days. Columbus Week was a completely decked out party with a Hudson River naval parade, Brooklyn Bridge fireworks, a music festival, and the first Columbus Day Parade, which consisted of 12,000 public school children, 5,500 Catholic school children, military drill squads, and 29 marching bands.

Columbus Day Parade 1892, Columbus Day history, NYC historic parades, Discovery Day
1892 Columbus Day parade, via NYPL

Columbus Day Parade 1892, Columbus Day history, NYC historic parades, Discovery Day
School children lined up for the parade

In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation that established a day to honor the “400th anniversary of the discovery of America,” known as Discovery Day (Columbus Day wouldn’t become a federal holiday until 1937). Contrary to much of today’s backlash against the holiday, it was originally intended to recognize the Native Americans who were here before Columbus, as well as the countless immigrant groups who came after. As evidence of this, the first Columbus Day parade in New York featured 350 Native American students alongside several private Italian schools, according to the American Scholar.

Columbus Circle, Christopher Columbus, Columbus monument NYCView of the monument in Columbus Circle, wallyg via photopin cc (L); A close-up shot of Columbus atop the column during a 2012 exhibit that surrounded the statue in a living room vpickering via photopin cc (R)

This was also the year that the Christopher Columbus monument was erected at present-day Columbus Circle. To mark the anniversary, an Italian-American newspaper funded its creation by Gaetano Russo, who sculpted a marble statue of the explorer atop a 70-foot granite column adorned with bronze depictions of his three ships.

RELATED:

Tags : ,

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

  • In black neighborhoods, 74 percent of Airbnb hosts are white

    In black neighborhoods, 74 percent of Airbnb hosts are white

    Watchdog group Inside Airbnb released a new report, which shows that across 72 predominantly African-American neighborhoods in New York City, 74 ...
  • Steven Holl’s ‘T Space’ is an art gallery tucked away in an Upstate forest

    Steven Holl’s ‘T Space’ is an art gallery tucked away in an Upstate forest

    Though it looks like this cedar cabin is floating above the terrain, the structure actually sits atop nine steel stilts. ...
  • Lavish $65M penthouse unveiled at Robert A.M. Stern’s 70 Vestry

    Lavish $65M penthouse unveiled at Robert A.M. Stern’s 70 Vestry

    After selling the $50 million penthouse at the beginning of the year and celebrating the building’s topping out last month, ...
  • Women’s History Month began in New York in 1909 to honor the city’s garment workers’ strike

    Women’s History Month began in New York in 1909 to honor the city’s garment workers’ strike

    Now celebrated worldwide during the month of March, the observance originated in New York City in 1909 as “Women’s Day,” on ...
  • Jacques Torres opening a chocolate museum; Danny Meyer’s FiDi restaurant will have city’s highest ballroom

    Jacques Torres opening a chocolate museum; Danny Meyer’s FiDi restaurant will have city’s highest ballroom

    Jacques Torres will soon open “Choco-Story New York, The Chocolate Museum and Experience with Jacques Torres” at his Hudson Square ...
  • How to confront your landlord when your apartment is without heat

    How to confront your landlord when your apartment is without heat

    A stiff wind squeezes a draft through the bedroom window. The radiator is ice-cold. The building super says there’s nothing ...
  • How Aaron Burr gave the city a faulty system of wooden water mains

    How Aaron Burr gave the city a faulty system of wooden water mains

    In 2006, construction crews discovered a 13-foot section of the wooden water mains under Beekman Street near the South Street ...
  • Report says having a roommate can save a New York millennial $728/month

    Report says having a roommate can save a New York millennial $728/month

    We tend to think of New York as a hub for millennials living paycheck to paycheck, hindered by a higher-than-average ...
  • Media mogul Adriana Cisneros looks to unload her $7.85M Chelsea townhouse

    Media mogul Adriana Cisneros looks to unload her $7.85M Chelsea townhouse

    This Chelsea townhouse at 332 West 20th Street is being sold off by a power couple: Adriana Cisneros, the CEO ...
  • 139th Street revisited: Bob Dylan’s former townhouse on Striver’s Row for sale for $3.7M

    139th Street revisited: Bob Dylan’s former townhouse on Striver’s Row for sale for $3.7M

    Not only has this landmarked four-story home standing among the rarely available townhouses in Harlem’s Saint Nicholas Historic District–better known as ...
  • Spacious $860K loft is in a Bed-Stuy building known for its quirky apartments

    Spacious $860K loft is in a Bed-Stuy building known for its quirky apartments

    This loft apartment comes from the well-known Brooklyn condo the Chocolate Factory Lofts at 689 Myrtle Avenue. (The building was once, ...
  • Sales launch at Lenny Kravtiz-designed Nolita condo; capturing the historic smells of the Morgan Library

    Sales launch at Lenny Kravtiz-designed Nolita condo; capturing the historic smells of the Morgan Library

    Did you know Pleistocene-era mollusks have been discovered in Manhattan? This interactive map plots every dinosaur fossil found on Earth. ...

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.