On the 12th October, 1492 the expedition led by Cristóbal Colón arrived to Guanahani, an island located in the Bahamas. They didn’t know it, but they were establishing the first contact between America and Europe. In fact, Cristóbal Colón was sure that he had arrived to India but he could not imagine that he had discovered America, a new continent. After his trip, the Spanish Crown financed new trips in order to discover new places. For instance, in 1513 Núñez de Balboa walked across the Strait of Panamá finding the Pacific Ocean; Francisco Hernández de Córdoba y Juan de Grijalva went across the Mexican coast and, finally, it was Américo Vespucio who went across the north coast of South America. As a consequence, he was considered the first European citizen who understood and announced that it was a new continent and for that reason it was called America.
Nowadays, the Boletín Oficial del Estado (Official State Gazette) says that, “the date chosen, the 12th October, represents the historical event when Spain started a period of linguistic and cultural impact beyond European limits. This happened when the country was about to finish with a process of building a State from our cultural and politic diversity and from the integration of the different Spanish Kingdoms in the same monarchy.” The idea of celebrating this Spanish National Day on the 12th October was a proposal made by Ramiro de Maetzy, who in an article entitled “La Hispanidad” said: “The 12th October, bad entitled as Día de la Raza (Day of the Race), should be called now Día de la Hispanidad. Thus, this day was celebrated for the first time in 1935, although it was not legally regulated until 1958, when the country was under Franco’s dictatorship. For many years and, being now a tradition, the celebration includes a military parade led by the King and the Queen of Spain. The other members of the Royal Family and most important representative figures of the State and autonomies of Spain are also invited to this event.
Today, we can say that our Día de la Hispanidad is near and this year with some news because this time will be the King Felipe VI who will lead the military parade as a new King. The Ministry of Defense decided that they are going to spend more money on the parade because this year is the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Air Force. For this reason, there will be 30 aircrafts -national and international- taking part on this event. These aircrafts are now practicing through the sky in Madrid, while the forces, which will walk through the Paseo del Prado in the capital, are also practicing in their quartering.