Goodbye, Columbus Day: Ohio Capital Will Not Observe Namesake's Holiday

"The City of Columbus will be open on Columbus Day," a brief statement on the city’s website reads.

Columbus, Ohio is saying goodbye to Columbus Day.

Local government officials announced the city will not observe the holiday and instead take a holiday on Veterans Day.

“The City of Columbus will be open on Columbus Day on Monday ...All city offices will maintain regular hours of operation,“a brief statement on the city’s website reads. “Trash collection and parking enforcement will also remain regularly scheduled.”

The holiday – along with statues of Christopher Columbus – has become controversial in recent years as the explorer’s mistreatment and enslavement of indigenous people has received more attention.

Columbus officials said the action is not a response to the controversy.

“We have a number of veterans who work for the city, and there are so many here in Columbus,” Robin Davis, a spokeswoman for Mayor Andrew Ginther, told The Associated Press. “We thought it was important to honor them with that day off.”

Some cities, including Cincinnati, have renamed the holiday Indigenous Peoples Day. But Italian-American organizations have pushed back, saying that the holiday provides them the opportunity to celebrate their ethnic heritage.

She added that the city could not afford to give its employees both days off.

Columbus Day remains a federal holiday. The White House on Saturday issued a presidential proclamation honoring the holiday.

“Columbus’s spirit of determination and adventure has provided inspiration to generations of Americans,” the proclamation reads. “On Columbus Day, we honor his remarkable accomplishments as a navigator, and celebrate his voyage into the unknown expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. His expedition formed the initial bond between Europe and the Americas, and changed the world forever.”

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