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There won’t be any mail delivery and federal offices are closed. But other than those details, which federal workers probably celebrate, Columbus Day in Alaska is a fairly quiet affair.
The holiday commemorates the Italian mariner Christopher Columbus’ Spain-financed landing at what was to become the United States of America 520 years ago, on Oct. 12, 1492. It has been a federal holiday since 1930.
Now the occasion is noted on the second Monday in October, in keeping with a national penchant for three-day weekends.
But it isn’t Columbus Day that is celebrated everywhere on Monday, due in part to the controversy that has attached to claims that he “discovered” America. Of course, Native Americans were here already and didn’t need to be discovered. There’s the claim that he was the first European on what’s now American soil, but of course many descendants of the Vikings dispute that.
Thus, in Berkeley, Calif., Indigenous Peoples’ Day is noted on this Monday; in South Dakota, today is called Native Americans’ Day.
Whatever you might be celebrating today, we hope you can enjoy it. You won’t get any bills — at least, not if you still get them by U.S. mail. E-bills still will find their way to your inbox, though, even on a federal holiday.