We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

Pseudo-Columbus Day today!

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John Eyster
Monday, October 8, 2012

Pseudo-Columbus Day today! Do YOU remember the crazy idea that CONGRESS had to create a 3-day weekend every month of the year? Did YOU know that today is one of those special Mondays with a 3-day weekend? What is YOUR comment on that idea?

Do YOU know which Monday holiday was so UNpopular that Congress went back to repeal that part of the law? Which HOLIDAY was that? Watching for YOUR comment with the date and the explanation.

I do think one has to give Congress credit for limited rationality when it did NOT try to move our celebration of the 4th of July to be ALWAYS ON A MONDAY for a 3-day weekend in July.

On the other hand, there are those who argue that in our contemporary culture and economy, it would be OPTIMAL to celebrate our INDEPENDENCE DAY always on a MONDAY. What do YOU think?

So, TODAY is one of those MONDAYS as part of a 3-day weekend. I call it “pseudo-Columbus Day” because the REAL “Columbus Day” was on the 12th of October. I myself have special animosity to the change since I myself was BORN on the REAL COLUMBUS DAY, the 12th of October. American flags were flown here and there and everywhere on the REAL Columbus Day. Was the change legitimate?

Another issue tied with COLUMBUS DAY. I am among those who do NOT think it is appropriate in the 21st century to celebrate/observe “COLUMBUS DAY.” Rather, I myself favor, “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” or “Explorers’ Day.” What is YOUR comment?

It is interesting to note that WI State Law has NOT adjusted to the COLUMUBUS DAY “HOLIDAY” on the 2nd Monday of October every year, so WI state law still requires the 12th of October 12. Here is the explanation posted by our Department of Public Instruction (DPI), “Christopher Columbus Day - In 1492, the first expedition led by Christopher Columbus sighted land somewhere in the Bahamas. Columbus' voyages are recognized as the start of sustained contact between peoples in the eastern and western hemispheres. The process of colonization that he began brought new forms of wealth to Europe, expanded the market for African slaves, and led to loss of land and lifeways for the indigenous peoples of the Americas.”

I do wonder which date is observed in our public K-12 schools in WI - do YOU? Do YOU know?

ALERT! Tomorrow is another observance day, “Leif Ericson Day” (Norwegian spelling = “Leif Erikson”) as required by WI State Law for all K-12 public schools. The explanation provided by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) – “Leif Ericson was born in Iceland and raised in Greenland. Norse sagas written 300 years after his death describe his explorations, around 1000 CE, of a land he called "Vinland." The location of Vinland remains uncertain, but it is widely believed to be on the North American continent.”

IF you want to review ALL the OBSERVANCE DAYS required by WI State Law, use this link, “2012-13 School Year Observance Days.” There are 21 observance days! Count them! What do YOU think?

ONE SPECIAL NOTE: Our General Election, including the US Presidential Election comes on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 – that just 4 weeks from tomorrow. IF you have questions and/or need helpful factual information, I URGE you to use this link to the Wisconsin State Journal’s helpful article, “Need voting help?”

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 10:32 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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