Yesterday was Columbus Day. It is a national holiday but is less consistently celebrated, for a variety of reasons, than any other state holiday in the United States. MIT took Columbus Day (and the day after!) off while my class at Harvard went ahead as scheduled.

I saw Luis this weekend but he had to run off on Sunday because Columbia University, of all places, apparently does not celebrate Columbus day.

3 Replies to “Holidays”

  1. I ran across this oddity during my first year at Columbia Law as well; it took a little research into the origins of Columbia University – named after Columbia, the personification of the Americas, sculptures of whom decorate both the University’s steps and New York Harbor, and who was in turn named after Christopher Columbus, whose name (“Colo’n”) apparently derives from columba, “dove” – to conclude that, yes, it was officially ironic. Presumably the University was lobbied by multiculturalists in the ’90’s to either stop celebrating colonialism or change the name of the holiday to “Indigenous People’s Day”, and they opted for the former.

  2. Gunnar,

    Yes. The US passed a law several year ago that adjusts Columbus day so that is is no longer celebrated on the 12th but rather on the Monday that is closest to the 12th. The day was not particularly  meaningful to people but we all love long-weekend. :)

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