Good Question: Why is Columbus Day a national holiday?

There are eleven federal holidays when the banks are closed and mail service is halted for the day.

One of those took place Monday.

Good Question: Why is Columbus Day a national holiday?

To some, Columbus Day is just another day, but in places like New York, its a chance to celebrate and have a parade.

But, how is that Christopher Columbus managed to get a national holiday in his honor?

To help me remember my history, I went straight to some 5th graders at Northern Elementary in Lexington.

These students helped remind me of Christopher Columbus' journey.

"In 1492 he discovered America," said Jorge Ballote.

"Most people thought that that the world was flat and he discovered the world was actually round," said Maggie Perkins.

Columbus was Italian, many Italian Americans celebrate the day as a tribute to their ancestry.

Columbus Day was unofficially celebrated as early as the 18th century.
In 1937 President Roosevelt made it a federal holiday.
Originally it was observed on October 12th only, but then changed to the second Monday of the month.

Columbus Day doesn't come without some controversy.

Some history experts say Columbus didn't actually discover the Americas since there were already native people living here.

While it may not be a holiday for gifts and get togethers, 5th grader Atlanta Harrison says maybe it should inspire talk of history.

"The holiday should include family getting together and actually learning more about him," said Harrison.

Three states do not celebrate Columbus Day. Hawaii, South Dakota and Nevada.

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