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Columbus city government will be open Monday, the federal holiday that celebrates the city’s namesake.

The move represents a major change for city government, which up through last year has traditionally shut down operations on Columbus Day. But the city issued a brief,  three-sentence news release Thursday afternoon stating the nation’s largest city named after Columbus will be open Monday on the federal holiday. Instead, it will close for Veterans Day, which because the Nov. 11 holiday falls on Sunday this year, will be observed nationally on Monday, Nov. 12.

Some Native Americans and other groups have criticized the federal holiday honoring Columbus, whose credit for being first to discover the Americas has been questioned by some historians and because of the deaths of indigenous people that ultimately resulted after Europeans arrived here.

Robin Davis, a spokeswoman for Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, said that was not part of the city’s decision.

“We wanted to be able to honor our veterans. We thought that was something that was important,” Davis said.

Columbus Day was first designated a federal holiday in 1937, in part as a way of recognizing Italian-American heritage. In 1971, it was moved from Oct. 12 to the second Monday in October. However, Columbus Day is not celebrated widely across the U.S., with just under half of the 50 states treating it as a paid holiday for their employees, according to the Council of State Governments. At least a handful of states and some local governments have chosen different names for the federal holiday, such as as Indigenous People’s Day.

In South Dakota, Monday will be celebrated as Native American Day as it has been since 1990. Berkley, California, is believed to have become the first city to rename the holiday as Indigenous People’s Day in 1992, and some other cities and states have followed suit.

Oberlin in northeast Ohio became the state’s first city to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day in 2017. Akron considered a similar change last year but voted 8-5 to retain Columbus Day as a recognized holiday.

Tennessee and some other states and public bodies continue to celebrate Columbus Day, but observe the holiday on the Friday after the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Ohio State University campuses are open Monday, and the university celebrates Columbus Day the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The city of Columbus announced in its release that trash collection, parking enforcement and other city functions will operate on their regular schedules next week. In addition, Columbus Metropolitan Library branches will be open Monday and Central Ohio Transit Authority offices will be open and buses will run on a regular schedule.

But because of the Columbus Day holiday Monday:

• All federal, state and county offices will be closed.

• Post offices will be closed and there will be no regular mail delivery.

• Banks and bond markets that trade in U.S. government debt will be closed, but the stock markets will be open.

rrouan@dispatch.com

jwilhelm@dispatch.com

@RickRouan



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