October 12, 1492 is the date that Christopher Columbus arrived in the America’s, and many nations in the New World celebrate this anniversary.
Each country has its own unique way of celebrating, and these celebrations unofficially began in the late 18th century, and officially since the early 20th century.
History Of Columbus Day
Columbus Day first began as a Colorado state holiday in 1906, and went on to become a federal holiday in 1937. People have been celebrating Christopher Columbus’s voyage since colonial times. Major US cities celebrated the 300th anniversary of Columbus’s sailing in 1792, and celebrated the 400th anniversary in 1892.
In 1892, politicians, poets, clergy, and teachers used this anniversary to teach the ideas of patriotism. These rituals were based on the themes of social progress, national loyalty, citizenship boundaries, and support for war.
As Catholics immigrated en-mass in the mid-19th century, they faced widespread discrimination from various anti-immigration activists. To combat this discrimination, Catholics developed organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus.
The Knights of Columbus was given that name because Christopher Columbus was seen as a apt symbol of Catholics’ right to citizenship, as Columbus, a fellow Catholic, had discovered America.
Italian-Americans also celebrate Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage, with the first such celebration in New York City October 12, 1866. Due to extensive lobbying on the part of the Knights of Columbus, Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared October 12th Columbus Day, a federal holiday.
Are Banks And Post Offices Closed On Columbus Day?
In observance of Columbus Day, government post offices do close on this holiday. That means that households and businesses do not receive mail, and many local post offices are closed. Some limited service, such as Express Mail, may still be available.
Most banks are closed for Columbus Day, while a few choose to remain open. Call or check your bank’s website to find out your bank’s hours of operation. Online banking and ATM service will remain open.
Is The Stock Market Closed On Columbus Day?
The US stock markets closed for Columbus Day until 1953. Now some exchanges do remain open including the New York Stock Exchange. Columbus Day has been celebrated on the second Monday of October since 1971.
There are several federal government and state agencies that are closed on Columbus Day, as well as many school districts. There are however, some states and municipalities that abstain from celebrating Columbus Day.
As Columbus Day is celebrated differently throughout the country, it is wise to check with your town’s various agencies to find out if they will be open for business. Columbus Day is an excellent time to take advantage of sales and stock up on cold weather goods, such as flannel pajamas, sweaters, boots and socks.
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