We celebrate Columbus Day to honor Christopher Columbus, who landed in San Salvador in 1492. People in parts of Canada, Puerto Rico, and Central and South America celebrate Columbus as well - it is the only non-religious holiday to span these countries. A federal holiday since 1971, Columbus Day had a fitful beginning. A dinner to honor Columbus was held in New York in 1792, and Italians in New York celebrated it beginning in 1866. The first event to really draw attention to Columbus, though, was the World's Columbian Exposition of 1892, also known as the Chicago World's Fair. Now, we celebrate Columbus Day the second Monday of each October, in honor of the October 12th the day that Columbus first set foot on the Americas.