Reading Comprehension - Columbus Day

Develop your reading skills. Read the following text about Columbus Day and do the comprehension exercise.

Columbus Day

What is Columbus Day? When is it celebrated?

Columbus Day is celebrated each year on the second Monday of October. It is considered a Federal holiday in the USA and is also observed in other countries in the Americas. It commemorates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World on October 12, 1492.

Who is Christopher Columbus?

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who became a subject of the Hispanic Monarchy and led Spanish ships to cross the Atlantic Ocean to discover an alternative route to the Far East, only to arrive in The American Continent.

Columbus' initial journey to the New World on the Spanish ships Santa MaríaNiña, and La Pinta took around three months. Columbus and his crew's arrival in the American Continent initiated the colonization of the Americas by Spain, followed in the subsequent centuries by other countries from the Old World (i.e., Europe.).

Columbian Exchange

The discovery of the New World resulted in the exchange of goods, animals, culture, people, and technologies from the American Continent to Europe and vice versa. This transfer is an event referred to by some late 20th‐century historians as the Columbian Exchange.


The celebration of Columbus Day differs from state to state. In some areas, large-scale parades and events are organized while in others, complete non-observance is witnessed. Most states that commemorate Columbus Day close state services, while others work normally.

Controversy over Columbus Day

Recently, Native Americans and other organizations have criticized the commemoration of an event that culminated in the colonization of the Americas, the start of the transatlantic slave trade, and the deaths of millions of people due to murder and illness.

More people are now opposing Columbus' and other Europeans' activities against the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Native Americans spearheaded the opposition, which was later supported by left-wing political groups.

Alternative celebrations are observed now in many parts of the Americas. Many states and cities in the United States celebrate Indigenous People's Day. Peru has been commemorating the Day of the Indigenous Peoples and Intercultural Dialogue ("Día de los pueblos originarios y el diálogo intercultural") since 2009. The day is also known as Pan American Day and Dia de las Américas ("Day of the Americas") in Belize and Uruguay.

Sources: Wikipedia


  1. Columbus Day is celebrated only in the United States.
    a. True
    b. False
  2. Columbus is originally from Spain.
    a. True
    b. False
  3. Spain and other European powers colonized the Americas.
    a. True
    b. False
  4. Columbus Day is celebrated similarly across the United States.
    a. True
    b. False

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