Columbus Day is a federal holiday, but Colorado is one of the growing numbers of states choosing an alternative observance in October.

Columbus Day has traditionally been observed on the second Monday of October. However, the legacy of the famous explorer Christopher Columbus has grown to be extremely controversial in recent years and many states and cities have chosen to dump the Columbus tribute in favor of Indigenous People's Day, Native American Day, or have the holiday eliminated altogether. On the U.S. Office of Personnel Management website, Columbus Day is still listed as a legal holiday on October 12. Apparently, federal government employees will have the day off on Monday.

Earlier this year, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed legislation eliminating Columbus Day as a legal holiday in the state and changing the day to Frances Zavier Cabrini Day. The legislation designated the first Monday of October as the legal holiday, though the traditional Columbus Day observance is the second Monday of the month.

Cabrini, a Roman Catholic nun,  was a "humanitarian champion of immigrants and children" according to the bill passed by the Colorado legislature. Cabrini first visited Colorado in 1902 and opened the Queen of Heaven Orphanage north of Denver in 1905.  Through the years, Cabrini founded 67 institutions, including schools, hospitals, and orphanages in the United States as well as Central and South America.

So, while the Colorado holiday has passed, and other parts of the country will be observing something on Monday, October 12 Mesa County employees aren't celebrating anything on either day. The list of holidays observed in Mesa County includes nothing in October. The county observes all of the other traditional holidays during the year, including Martin Luther King Day in January, but not Columbus Day, now known as Cabrini Day in Colorado.

The bottom line is this. Whether it's the first or the second Monday of October, some folks are getting a holiday and others of us are left to wait for the next holiday, which is Veterans Day coming up on November 11. In the meantime, everyone in Colorado should all take some time to learn more about Frances Zavier Cabrini since we will be celebrating her life and honoring her in October from now on.

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