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5 Americans Who Deserve a Holiday More Than Columbus

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4. Rosa Parks

Parks’s strong convictions helped demonstrate the power of civil disobedience on that fateful day in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on the bus. Her defiance set off a crusade against institutionalized segregation in America and forever changed the course of history for the better.

Though her life is already honored with minor holidays in the states of California and Ohio, a proper federal holiday for Parks would remind citizens that the Civil Rights Movement was not accomplished singlehandedly by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but through the actions of countless courageous people – including women.

5. Mark Twain

Political figures aren’t the only people worthy of distinction, so how about honoring one of the greatest American writers? Twain’s famous, prolific works are invaluable to our culture and are still taught in schools nearly a century and a half later.

Moreover, Twain helped to shape the way Americans looked at our world. His serious novels like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and satirical essays about the day’s current events challenged the way Americans think, proving the influence that literature can wield.

 

Now it’s your turn: which individuals throughout history would you like to see recognized with a holiday?

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Top photo: stevebkennedy, Chavez photo by Joel Levine, others available through national archives' public domain

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181 comments

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11:36PM PST on Feb 4, 2014

Such great idea's. And thanks for the postings.

5:09PM PST on Jan 4, 2014

Columbus Day is controversial here where I live in Pueblo, Colorado. There is a statue of him in front of our main library building at which the local Sons of Italy group hold a celebration each year while laying a wreath on the statue. And each year there are Native American groups which show up to protest the honoring of Columbus who they view as a criminal and a fraud.

Of course, there are many individuals in American history who are more deserving to be honored with a holiday than Columbus. Unfortunately, if we gave such an honor to everyone who deserved it, we would quickly run out of days and every day would be a holiday. Although, since Columbus Day is only a real holiday for banks and government offices, if we had more such holidays there would be fewer days when Congress was busy screwing up the country.

2:15PM PST on Nov 25, 2013

My turn? Will Rogers.

6:40PM PST on Nov 24, 2013

Agree, each of the five are more deserving of a holiday and I can think of many others!

5:09PM PST on Nov 15, 2013

all super suggestions! love this!

7:56AM PDT on Nov 1, 2013

Another important figure would be John Wilkes 'The Scandalous Father of Liberty.' Though he was eventually referred to ...Scandalous Father of Liberty, He was once more than a hero here in America when the colonies were going to war for the freedom they sought from the Brits. This John Wilkes is not the John Wilkes Booth who killed Lincoln.

10:23AM PDT on Oct 24, 2013

I would nominate Rosa Parks.

2:25AM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

Thank you!

9:32PM PDT on Oct 20, 2013

Interesting, and cool choices. Thanks!

6:29AM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

So, so true.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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