Wisconsin public school observance day required by statute. The first expedition led by Christopher Columbus sighted land somewhere in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492. Columbus' voyages are recognized as the start of sustained contact between peoples in the eastern and western hemispheres. The process of colonization that he began brought new forms of wealth to Europe, expanded the market for African slaves, and led to loss of land and lifeways for the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The federal holiday, Discoverers' Day, is celebrated the second Monday in October.
Enacted April 30, 1929, from the 1929 Laws of Wisconsin, Chapter 51.
Listed as Christopher Columbus' birthday in Wis. Stat. sec. 118.02 Special Observance Days.
More information and educational resources are available on the Department of Public Instruction Social Studies Education Observance Days website.