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It's Columbus Day, White Plains

Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Monday, Oct. 12, is Columbus Day, the day used to recognize the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492.

It is recognized as a federal holiday and by 47 states. There is no mail delivery, and courthouses are closed, along with many schools and banks.

But the holiday carries some controversy with it, as many believe the notion of Christopher Columbus' discovering the new world as incorrect. There is evidence that suggests Vikings from Scandinavia were, in fact, the discoverers of the Americas, according to

As a result, Columbus Day in many municipalities has instead become a day to celebrate Italian-American heritage.

Some states, such as Alaska, Hawaii and South Dakota, have chosen not to recognize the day as a holiday. South Dakota, instead, celebrates Native American Day, according to

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