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… but when?

So it’s Columbus Day here in the United States, a federal holiday that means the banks are closed and the mail won’t be delivered.

It was included in the list of to-be-celebrated-on-a-Monday holidays in 1968.1

Christopher Columbus

But since The Legal Genealogist is off making the most of the holiday,2 and since I couldn’t find the answer easily or quickly online, here’s a test for this blog’s faithful readers:

When did Columbus Day first become an official federal holiday?

Some online sources say it was first made a federal holiday by Franklin Delano Roosevelt by presidential proclamation in 1937.3 Others say it was by FDR and by presidential proclamation, but it was in 1934.4 None of ’em cite their sources.

So… when did Columbus Day first become a federal holiday?

And yeah… cite your sources.


Image: Christopher Columbus, photograph of a painting, c1908, Detroit Publishing Company, Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

  1. “An Act To provide for uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays, and for other purposes,” 82 Stat. 250 (28 June 1968).
  2. My family had a get-together in Puerto Penasco, Mexico, and we’re all headed home today.
  3. See e.g. “Columbus Day 2018,” This Day in History, ( : accessed 8 Oct 2018).
  4. See e.g. “Columbus Day,” Today in History – October 12, Library of Congress ( : accessed 8 Oct 2018).
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