In the United States, October 12 is significant as the date explorer Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas.The achievement, which is commemorated on the second Monday of October, is a source of pride, particularly within the Italian-American community because Columbus was Italian. But for some the holiday is marked by controversy.

John Viola, president of the National Italian-American Foundation, said the significance of the holiday is varied.

“It’s an opportunity and holiday that we are able to celebrate what we’ve contributed to this country, to celebrate our history of our ancestors,” he said. “I think for the rest of the country, Columbus Day is a vehicle to celebrate this nation of immigrants.”