columbus day
People participate in the annual Columbus Day Parade on Oct. 10, 2016, in New York City. This is the 72nd Columbus Day Parade held in New York City. Getty Images/Stephanie Keith

Monday is Columbus Day, a state and federal holiday marked to honor Christopher Columbus, the explorer credited with colonizing the New World. The holiday first started in 1792 as an Italian-American heritage celebration in New York and was later declared a federal holiday in 1937 by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Several cities and states in the United States have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day or Native American Day — including Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix and Denver, as well as South Dakota and Alaska. However, many other states celebrate this day. Alaska and Vermont celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, South Dakota observes Native American Day and Hawaii celebrates Discoverers' Day.

The 74th annual Columbus Day Parade in New York will be held starting at 11:30 a.m. EDT with more than 100 marching groups including dozens of bands and floats. The parade marches on Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 72nd Street. Main performances are on Fifth Avenue between 67th and 69th streets.

On this day several businesses and services are shut down.

Post offices

United States Postal Service offices will be closed, though self-service kiosks are still available in some locations for drop-offs. There will be no mail delivered Monday. UPS and FedEx will be making deliveries.

Government offices

It's a federal holiday, which means most federal or state government offices will be closed. But some county offices may remain open.

Stock Markets

The financial and stock markets (New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq) will be open Monday.


Many schools will be closed on Columbus Day, but some districts including Philadelphia do not observe the holiday and will remain open.


Most public libraries, including the New York Public Library will be closed on Columbus Day.


On Columbus Day, courts will be closed.


Columbus Day is a bank holiday, so most banks are closed on Columbus Day. However, TD Bank is open.

National parks

National Parks will be open on Columbus Day. They often close around Christmas and New Year's but remain open for most other holidays.


If you're taking public transportation, most major cities should be running as usual.

Grocery and retail stores

Most places remain open on Columbus Day.


Garbage and recycling collection is not operational in many cities Monday.

Below are some lesser-known facts about Christopher Columbus:

1. Columbus set sail Aug. 3, 1492, and saw land Oct. 12. During this trip, Columbus found what are now the Bahamas, Cuba, and Hispaniola. He left behind about 40 men to colonize the lands.

2. His ships, the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, could hold about 90 people.

3. In negotiating with Spain, Columbus requested a tenth of the spoils he found in any new land — gold and pearls included.

4. When he returned to Europe, he got the name "Almirante mayor del Mar," which translates to admiral of the ocean.

5. Columbus wanted Native Americans to be servants.

6. There are two countries that say they host Columbus' remains: Spain and the Dominican Republic.