Is Columbus Day a Federal and State Holiday in Indiana?
When Christopher Columbus completed his three month voyage across the big pond and docked his three little ships on a small unknown island in the Americas on October 12, 1492, he didn't really know where he was.
He was aiming for the country of India but landed somewhere in the Bahamas instead. We're still not sure exactly where that first landfall was in 1492; but one of his ships, the Santa Maria, sank on Christmas Day that year and the wreckage is still on the bottom of the Caribbean. Someday we'll find the remains and know where to erect the historic marker, but in the meantime we Americans will celebrate Chris's four trips across the Atlantic with an official federal holiday on the second Monday in October which is this Monday.
Since 1937, we have honored the great Italian sailor with his own day even though he never set foot in Columbus, Ohio, Columbus, Indiana, Columbus, Georgia or anywhere in North America.. Because Columbus was an Italian, the original Columbus Day was created by President Franklin Roosevelt mainly to honor the Italian population of New York. Thousands of Americans of Italian heritage will march in the traditional New York parade this year.
In recent years, several states have decided not to observe Columbus Day and have replaced it with Indigenous Peoples Day, a movement that began in Berkeley, California, about 25 years ago. Even the city of Columbus, Ohio, has decided to have a special veteran's day instead, and it is no longer a city holiday there. In our tri-state area we mostly stick to tradition. Although Kentucky has dropped Columbus Day as a state holiday, it is still observed in Illinois and Indiana.
As you might expect, Columbus, who was sailing for the country of Spain, is still honored in most of South and Central America; but many changes are taking place there also. In the meantime, enjoy a federal holiday everywhere on Monday, Oct 14. Columbus Day is not going away without a fight.