Area schools, banks observe Columbus Day
Area schools will recognize Columbus Day by canceling classes on Monday, while City Hall, the public library and the Roosevelt County Courthouse will remain open.
Along with schools, local banks and the post office will also be closed.
Officials at City Hall said there is no Columbus Day memorial or ceremony planned.
Columbus Day is observed the second Monday every October and honors the Italian-born Christopher Columbus and his fellow mates on the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.
On Oct. 12, 1492, Columbus landed in Haiti — land that he believed was the West Indies. Because of this Columbus named the natives Indians. It is believed that he also reached the coast of Florida, although this fact is sometimes disputed.
Columbus is widely referred to as the first person to discover America, although some historians claim that title goes to Ponce de Leon, who landed in St. Augustine, Fla., 21 years after Columbus landed in Haiti. De Leon may have been the first to discover present-day America.
In 1792, a ceremony was organized in New York City to honor Columbus and the 300th anniversary of the landing.
In 1968, Columbus Day was declared a federal public holiday on the second Monday in October by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Columbus died in Spain in 1506.
Historical information provided by the About Network Web site.