Federal Eye: Do We Need Columbus Day?

Happy Monday! Most federal employees will spend Monday away from the office, celebrating the seventh of ten federal holidays they enjoy each year.

But Conor Dougherty and Sudeep Reddy of the Wall Street Journal wonder if the holiday is on the outs:

In California, Columbus Day is one of two unpaid holidays getting blown away by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as part of a budget-cut proposal. In Washington, D.C., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid canceled this year’s weeklong Columbus Day recess so the senators can buckle down on health care. (They still get Monday off, though.)

Another obstacle: Columbus Day hasn’t transcended its original purpose, as some other holidays have. Sure, Columbus Day celebrates one of the world’s great explorers. But Memorial Day and Labor Day also do double duty as summer’s official bookends, whereas Columbus Day is stuck in mid-October, halfway between summertime and Christmas. And many Americans apparently prefer more days off around Christmas.

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