Today is Columbus Day and while it’s one of the ten federal holidays in the United States it is probably considered the least important.

While some 97% of companies offer Thanksgiving as a paid holiday only 14% do so for Columbus Day which is always the second Monday in October.  The other eight federal holidays are New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day and Christmas.  New Jersey also observes Good Friday and Election Day as official state holidays.

There will be no mail delivery today as the post office is closed and you might want to check with your bank to see if they are open.  This used to be a day most schools were closed or used it as a professional day for staff while students got the day off. I think things are different this year.  When it comes to most businesses it’s pretty much just another Monday.

The day itself was created to pay tribute to Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492 and it became a national holiday in 1934 and an official federal holiday in 1968.  It has become more than anything a way for Italian-Americans to celebrate their heritage but in what is indicative of the times we live in the holiday has fallen victim to political correctness.

Many states and cities in the U.S. either do not observe it at all or have replaced it with celebrations of indigenous people because a large number of historians have claimed that Columbus and other European explorers who followed mistreated Native Americans and did so badly.

It also doesn’t help that history now claims Columbus didn’t even discover the New World but actually landed in the already-inhabited Bahamas before exploring other islands in the Caribbean.  Let’s face it people get lost every day but it seems like Chris was way off his original destination.

Look I don’t want to make fun of what has become of his legacy and the holiday.  I think the tearing down and removal of statues built for him is wrong but I’ll leave it up to cities and towns to determine what is best for their community.  Same when it comes to Italian-American celebrations. Who am I to say what’s right and wrong?

If you want to celebrate Columbus and your heritage than go out and do it!


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