Columbus Day: What You Need to Know

Getting by in Chatham on Monday

Columbus Day, a nationally recognized federal holiday, falls on Monday, Oct. 8 this year. It is a state holiday in New Jersey.


  • Retail Stores
  • Supermarkets
  • School District of the Chathams—though it is a teacher inservice day, which means kids can sleep in and enjoy the day off. However, the Board of Education will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
  • Restaurants
  • Convenience Stores
  • Bars/Taverns
  • Gyms/Health Clubs

Call ahead before heading to any of the above establishments to confirm they are open. Many retail stores or gyms/health clubs may be operating on a Sunday schedule or with limited hours.


  • Banks have the option to close
  • All U.S. Post Offices—that means no mail delivery.
  • Stock markets and financial markets
  • Federal Offices
  • The Chatham Borough Municipal Building and Chatham Township Municipal Building are closed.
  • Courts are closed

If you need to get into the city:


  • NJ Transit trains will operate on a regular weekday schedule. Bus schedules vary by route. Family Super Saver fares will be in effect for the holiday. For details, refer to timetables or click here or call (973) 275-5555.
  • PATH trains will operate on a regular weekday schedule.

While it is an opportunity for some to sleep in on a Monday, the holiday itself is also interesting.

Columbus Day remembers Italian explorer Christopher Columbus’ long journey across the Atlantic Ocean to the “New World." The voyage was victorious when land was first spotted on Oct. 12, 1492.

The day is also considered a celebration of Italian heritage, as well as a huge shopping day in the U.S. 

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is responsible for making the holiday a federal one in 1937.

Junco October 07, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Please also remember the massive genocide committed by Columbus when he got here. Thank You!
Patch Rapscallion October 08, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Congrats on making it all the way through the first chapter of that Howard Zinn book! We get it, he was a big jerk; but to be fair to Columbus, everyone was mean in the 15th century because happiness wasn't invented until 1817. Regardless, I'm outraged as well! Let's all write strongly worded letters to FDR's corpse, we'll just have to wait until Tuesday to mail them. Thank you!


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