This is an old post that I've bumped up in this fashion on at least one prior occasion.
Lex Anteinternet: Civil Holidays: Leann posted an item on her blog about Columbus Day, urging Congress to consider changing it to Indigenous Peoples Day . I
I was reminded of it as it's both Martin Luther King Day nationally and Wyoming Equality Day in the state, but outside of state and Federal employees, it's not observed much here. That doesn't mean its not observed at all, but not much. To the extent it is observed it tends to be observed almost ethnically or politically. Indeed, people were slow to get to the office today and I had two employees ask me "Is this a holiday?" It is, but not one that anyone takes off.
I'm not sure of what to make of that. But I do know that if civil holidays aren't observed by employers there not really holidays. That may sound harsh, but that's the reality of it. It's just a day at work without mail. In some cases, like Veterans' Day, its a day where things might be observed in some fashion; a lot of businesses give breaks to veterans and the movie channels run war movies non stop, but still, a holiday that businesses don't take off isn't a real holiday.
And that's a shame.
If these days are important, well, they should be observed. But unless the government affirmatively requires them to be taken off, most will not be. Only the self employed who are very secure about their place in the world is going to observe some of them. But in the United States, which has an aggressive attachment to concepts of free enterprise in the current era, a legal effort to require that business stand down would not go anywhere and would instead be controversial.
And, indeed, this has spread even to weekends, which used to be very widely observed, or at least Sundays were. Even around here, in a region that notoriously has not had blue laws, it used to be almost impossible to get much more than basic grocery services on Sundays. As a kid I recall you could not find an open gas station here on a Sunday. On the 4th of July weekend you had to buy your gasoline early if you intended to go anywhere, or you were going nowhere.
I'm not sure the change has been for the good.