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Christopher Columbus is credited with the first explorer to sail towards America, which then was called the “New World”. To remember this historic event, every second Monday of October is celebrated as Columbus Day.
This holiday is unique, though, in that not all states observe it as a Federal holiday. To the states that don’t, Columbus Day is a normal working day. To most states who do consider it a holiday, most businesses and offices are closed. Schools are not required to close, though; it depends on the school district if there would be classes on that day or not. Post offices are also variable: some are open, others are closed. In fact, Columbus Day is the only holiday that only a few people observe, with just about 10% of US businesses being closed.
One interesting thing about this holiday is that some Italian-Americans recognize it as something else. To them, it’s a celebration of their national heritage.
Why is it not the same for everyone, though? Well actually, Columbus Day is a controversial holiday. Some claim that Columbus was not the one who actually discovered America since there were already indigenous settlers long before. Some also don’t like the idea of celebrating Columbus, as they say that he drove away the indigenous people from their homelands.
The first state to celebrate Columbus Day was Colorado in 1907. It was then celebrated across the entire country starting from 1937. Then, it became the second Monday of October beginning in 1971.
Whatever one feels about Columbus Day, though, if it’s a holiday in one’s state, it’s a good time to take a break, be with the family, travel, and have fun. If there is no work or school anyway in that area, then why not have a day of rest and relaxation?