It's a time to honor Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer who mistakenly landed on American soil and started the migration of Europeans and the colonization of a previously occupied land. The first celebrations of the day were created by Italian and Catholic communities seeking to recognize and honor the momentous event that led to the creation of the United States we know today. As time continued, more people got on board, and it finally became a national holiday in 1972, when President Richard Nixon designated the second Monday in October to honor the explorer.
However, just as soon as the day became official, another crusade to oust Columbus and replace him with indigenous peoples began. In 1977, participants at the United Nations International Conference on Discrimination against Indigenous Populations in the Americas suggested renaming that Monday to Indigenous Peoples' Day.