Columbus Day, also known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day for some, is an official federal holiday that affects various establishments like banks and government offices. Let’s take a closer look at what’s open and closed on Columbus Day 2022 and delve into the controversy surrounding this holiday.
What is Columbus Day?
Columbus Day, observed on the second Monday of October, commemorates Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Although initially established as a federal holiday in 1971 to celebrate European immigration to North America, historical evidence paints Columbus as more of an antagonist than a hero. He inflicted brutality upon Native Americans, introducing diseases, wars, and other hardships that impacted the future United States.
In 1992, the symbolic renaming of the day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day began. Instead of glorifying Columbus, this day honors Native American peoples, acknowledging their historical and cultural significance. While not recognized nationwide, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is an official holiday in 10 states and many cities, demonstrating a refusal to celebrate Columbus.
President Joe Biden made history last year by issuing a proclamation commemorating Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In it, he emphasized the importance of recognizing the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, while also acknowledging the Federal Government’s obligation to honor tribal nations and their sovereignty.
Are banks open on Columbus Day?
Most banks will be closed on Columbus Day due to its federal holiday status. However, American National Bank stands as an exception, keeping its branches open. If you require cash or need to make a deposit, ATMs will still be accessible.
Will mail delivery be affected on Columbus Day?
The U.S. Postal Service will not be delivering mail on Columbus Day. However, UPS and FedEx will continue their usual operations, including scheduled deliveries for all divisions. Drop-off locations for both services will maintain regular hours.
Is the stock market open on Columbus Day?
Yes, on Columbus Day, the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and bond markets will remain open and active. The following scheduled holiday closure for these markets will occur on Thanksgiving.
Are government offices open on Columbus Day?
Federal offices will be closed on Columbus Day. However, the status of city, state, and county offices may vary. For instance, the City of Chicago offices will be closed, while Delaware will be open. It is essential to note that not all states observing Indigenous Peoples’ Day provide paid leave for this holiday.
Which retail and grocery stores will be closed on Columbus Day?
Essentially, no major retail or grocery stores will be closed on Columbus Day. Although sporadic small business closures may occur, these are often attributable to staffing shortages rather than the holiday itself. Given the controversy surrounding Columbus Day, most major retailers tend to overlook the holiday.
What makes Columbus Day so controversial?
In recent years, it has become widely recognized that Christopher Columbus was not the heroic historical figure once portrayed. Instead, he perpetrated brutal acts against Native Americans, causing the proliferation of diseases, wars, and other devastating consequences in North America.
Historical records reveal that Columbus enslaved numerous West Indies natives and forcefully brought them to Spain for sale. Additionally, he subjected others to forced labor in search of gold. Shockingly, within a mere 60 years of his arrival, the Taino native population dwindled from 250,000 to a few hundred.
So why is Columbus Day still celebrated?
Many Italian Americans view Columbus Day as an opportunity to celebrate their heritage with pride. Notably, the 78th Annual Columbus Day parade will be hosted on Fifth Avenue in New York City, marking the largest celebration nationwide. Another significant celebration, the 40th-year observation, will take place in Brooklyn.
With Columbus Day approaching, it’s essential to understand the historical controversies surrounding the holiday. By acknowledging the invaluable contributions of Indigenous peoples and honoring their cultures, we can foster a more inclusive and accurate understanding of America’s history.