Columbus Day isn't celebrated everywhere in the U.S., which puts it in good company among holidays.
It isn't as if Columbus Day itself has some lengthy history as a holiday in this country. The first instance of it traces back to the early 1900s in Colorado, but it took some fairly ugly xenophobia to make it a national concern. Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1937 after the Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic organization, and Italian-born business owners in New York City lobbied president Franklin Delano Roosevelt for it. Catholics and Italian-Americans were banned from certain jobs, lodgings and establishments, lynched in Louisiana and, even after Columbus Day became a holiday, placed in internment camps as "enemy aliens" during World War II.
Italian Americans latched onto Christopher Columbus as a means of assimilating themselves into white U.S. culture. It didn't matter that Columbus wasn't the first to set foot in this neck of the woods, wasn't the first to cross the Atlantic and wasn't even the first to set foot on territory that is now the United States. Columbus was an Italian (employed by the Spanish) who Americans viewed in a positive light at the time and who Italians could point to when white Americans questioned their love of the United States.
Today, roughly 30 of the 50 states observe Columbus Day -- but not all of them do so for Columbus's sake. In South Dakota, it is known as Native American Day in honor of the folks who just happened to be here when Columbus made his "discovery" and bore the brunt of the consequences of his actions. Numerous cities across the country -- including Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Minneapolis -- celebrate it as Indigenous People's Day. In Tennessee, the governor has the authority to move it to the day after Thanksgiving instead.
However, none of that makes Columbus Day unique or even all that abnormal among holidays: federal or otherwise. In fact, we combed the calendar and found ten holidays that not only aren't celebrated in all 50 states, but also, in some states, directly contradict a corresponding federal holiday.
It's party time.
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Editors' pick: Originally published Oct. 5.