Columbus Day became an official holiday in the United States in 1937, though it has been celebrated since the colonial period. The day is in honor of Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the Americas even though he didn’t actually discover continental United States, hundreds of Natives Americans were enslaved and killed, and there were already people living here when he “discovered” America. Columbus Day was celebrated this year on October 9. Many Italian-Americans view the day as a celebration of their heritage. Other Americans observe it as the day that the new world was discovered.