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Interesting Facts About Columbus Day

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.

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Interesting Facts About Columbus Day

Columbus Day is always celebrated in some states on the second Monday in October. The day remains the same every year, but the date changes from year to year. In 2021, the date falls on Monday, October 11.

Five hundred twenty-nine years ago, long before we were born, Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean and arrived in the Americas on October 12, 1492. That's why he is still honored today. That might be all some people know about the celebration.

If you live in a state that celebrates Columbus Day, you might get a day off from work, your local banks and federal agencies are closed, and there are some great Columbus Day sales.

The President's Proclamation

On the Friday before the second Monday in October, the President of the United States usually proclaimed about Columbus Day. Historically, they encouraged people to celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of what has been referred to as the "New World."

The President also calls upon officials to display the United States flag in public buildings to recognize the national holiday.

interesting-things-to-know-about-columbus-day

According to History Books

We learn some information from the history books. For example, Columbus was an Italian explorer who discovered the Americas after being at sea for ten weeks. It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who proclaimed Columbus Day to be a national holiday in 1937. It is a special day for Italian-Americans, and they still use the day to celebrate their heritage. However, the day is not observed in all states in the United States.

There are fourteen states, the District of Columbia, and more than 130 cities that do not celebrate Columbus Day. Instead, they observe Indigenous Peoples Day. Those states are listed in alphabetical order. See if your state is listed.

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Hawaii
  4. Idaho
  5. Maine
  6. Michigan
  7. Minnesota
  8. New Mexico
  9. North Carolina
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Oregon
  12. South Dakota
  13. Vermont
  14. Wisconsin

Some states limit their celebration to the bare minimum. However, some communities honor Christopher Columbus by participating in activities including having parades and other festivities.

This is a holiday where all people are not unified. Some states celebrate Native Americans' Day/Indigenous People's Day instead of Columbus Day. Native Americans use this day as an excellent opportunity to celebrate their background, culture, and traditions. They plan events that are educational for the younger generations. Some activities may include exhibitions and parades.

What's Closed on Columbus Day?

People should check to find out what businesses are closed in their community on Monday, October 11. Just because it is a three-day weekend for many, some businesses might or might not be closed.

Columbus Day is a federal government holiday, but it is not considered a major one. City, state, and federal businesses are closed. However, county offices remain open. Banks are closed, and public libraries are closed. Since schools are not required to be closed, it is wise to check with your child's school to confirm whether it will be open or closed. The Post Office is closed, and there will be no mail delivery. If you are out and about, you don't have to put money in city parking meters.

Things To Do on Columbus Day

It is an excellent idea to use Columbus as an example to discover something new to enhance your life. Here are some suggestions:

  • Discover a new recipe.
  • Learn how to write an ebook.
  • Discover how to create a new hairstyle.
  • Find a long lost friend via social media.
  • Do a search on Google or YouTube to learn something you are curious about.
  • Sign up for a free online course, such as playing a musical instrument or learning a foreign language.

Use your imagination and do something worthwhile during your free time.

This is a statue of Christopher Columbus in Italy.

This is a statue of Christopher Columbus in Italy.

No doubt people love having a three-day weekend, but many folks aren't excited about Columbus Day. What are some popular reasons it is not as popular as other national and federal holidays?

One reason Columbus isn't celebrated is that there have always been controversial issues concerning his discovery. Some sources say he was not the first to discover the "New World." Others say he did not land in the Americas at all.

Another criticism of the holiday is the unfair treatment and injustices against indigenous people after Columbus' discovery.

Sources

Comments

Alyssa from Ohio on October 08, 2021:

It's interesting to learn more about what actually happened in history versus what is written for the sake of history books. When it comes to Columbus Day, I always get a good chuckle from the meme created from a painting of Columbus and his men. It says something along the lines of, "Celebrate Columbus Day by walking into your neighbor's house and letting them know you live there now." haha! I always get a good laugh from the clever historical memes on Pinterest.

Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on October 07, 2021:

What an amazing man he was.

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