States, Employers Un-Discover Columbus Day

It's dropping off the calendar as a holiday in many states
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2009 9:09 AM CDT
"So far as we're concerned, it's quite obviously an appropriate holiday," said a spokesman for the Knights of Columbus.   (AP Photos/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Columbus Day is rapidly sailing off the calendar all over the US. Some 22 states no longer give their workers the day off and many employers have begun "holiday swapping," requiring workers to come in on Columbus Day in return for an extra day off at Christmas or New Year's. Brown University renamed the holiday "Fall Weekend" after protests from Native American groups, and it's been labeled "Native American Day" or "Italian-American Day" elsewhere, notes the Wall Street Journal.

Columbus Day parades are becoming an endangered species as the holiday fades. Philadelphia canceled its parade this year and even Columbus, Ohio, canceled its annual parade 11 years ago amid controversy over its namesake's role in history. "Their reaction is as if it was the Ku Klux Klan," says one local trying to revive the tradition. In Colorado, where parades have been met with fierce protests for years, a hoaxster fooled several news agencies into believing this year's parade had been called off.