Though Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492, the earliest documentation of any unofficial celebration of Columbus Day wasn’t until 1792. By the 400th anniversary, following a lynching in New Orleans where a mob had murdered 11 Italian immigrants, President Benjamin Harrison declared Columbus Day as a one-time national celebration. This was part of a larger effort after the lynching incident to placate Italian Americans and ease diplomatic tensions with Italy. During this celebration, politicians, poets, teachers, and preachers began to spin the web of patriotism under the veil of Columbus. These rituals took themes such as citizenship boundaries and the importance of loyalty to the nation. Many Italian-Americans took this as an opportunity to celebrate their heritage. It wasn’t until 1966, when Mariano A. Lucca, from Buffalo, NY, founded the National Columbus Day Committee, which lobbied to make Columbus Day a federal holiday. These efforts were successful and Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1968.