Today we observe Columbus Day. Though originally observed on October 12 each year, the observance was fixed to the second Monday in October back in 1970, which seems to be the year the feds decided more three day holiday weekends were in order. These days, it’s more of a pseudo-holiday, no school, no mail service, some, if not all, banks are open, though.

I remember as a kid, the day was used to emphasize the ideals of patriotism, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and how America had become “a great melting pot” as people from a host of foreign countries came here seeking a better life.

Here’s how one of my favorite comedians described Columbus’ discovery of America, on the old Dean Martin TV Show: