It took quite a while, but Colorado has finally passed new legislation to scrap Columbus Day as a recognized paid state holiday. In its place, the first Monday of October will now honor Frances Xavier Cabrini, who according to the bill, is the woman responsible for creating 67 schools, hospitals, and orphanages in the United States and South and Central America throughout her lifetime.
Sen. Chris Hansen, one of the bill’s sponsors, told CNN that Cabrini is a local Colorado hero because of the work that she did. Chicago and New York join Colorado in honoring Cabrini with a shrine dedicated to her, Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, another one of the bill’s sponsors. What makes the new holiday particularly special is that it marks the first time a paid state holiday recognizes a woman in the US.
There are some holidays dedicated to other prominent women throughout history like Rosa Parks and Susan B. Anthony, but those are days of recognition, not paid state holiday. The bill will take effect no later than the beginning of August after it is signed by the governor. Legislation for this particular bill started in 2007.