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Is Columbus Day a Holiday?

October 11, 2013

Columbus Day first became a federal holiday in the United States in 1937, and has been observed on the second Monday in October since 1970. In fact, many countries in the New World celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas, which happened on October 12, 1492. Columbus Day is generally observed by banks, the US Postal Service, other federal agencies, most state government offices, many businesses, and most school districts. However, many businesses and even some states abstain from observing the holiday.

Hawaii, Alaska, and South Dakota are the three US states that do not recognize Columbus Day at all. Instead, Hawaii celebrates Discoverers' Day, which commemorates the Polynesian discoverers of Hawaii. And South Dakota celebrates an official state holiday known as Native American Day rather than Columbus Day.

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