If Columbus Day for you is a time to stock up on towels - or better yet, get out of town - you’re in good company. And you’re doing exactly what Congress wanted you to do back in 1968, when it passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act: spend money.
“Well there was very strong support in Congress, but the initiative came from the tourism and vacation interests,” says Gerald Friedman, economics professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Groups like the hotel industry lobby and the American Automobile Association, he says. You could see why hotels that would normally be dead on a Sunday night would be all about this. “It was a very conscious decision that we wanted to promote vacations and leisure, and people felt a three-day holiday would lead to more traveling,” he says.
And it has. During a typical three-day weekend, AAA estimates more than 34 million Americans hit the road. And even if people don’t leave town, there’s always the mall. “So we have things like Veterans Day sales, we have Columbus Day sales, we have Memorial Day sales,” says John McNamara, senior education fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
The National Retail Federation doesn’t track sales over Monday holidays, but they’re big shopping days.
McNamara says there's a downside: people are so busy spending, they forget why they have the day off. They don't think about what makes the day historically significant. That’s one reason Veteran’s Day was shifted back from a Monday holiday to its traditional Nov. 11.
So, if this stuff isn’t set in stone, maybe more three-day weekends are in store. “I’m kinda waiting for them to move Fourth of July to a Monday,” McNamara laughs.
But he says don’t plan that Fourth of July weekend getaway just yet, because it’s not likely to change.
To absolutely nobody's surprise, the week ended badly on Wall Street. All three major indices headed south Friday, and most of the other indexes as well.
The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy and Redfin's Nela Richardson joined Kai Ryssdal to talk about the week that was.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is facing public criticism after his comments suggesting that women should not ask for raises. But they also underscore questions about tech's male-dominated culture.
Once derided as Scottish food better suited to horses than people, porridge these days is more cool than gruel. In the U.K., competitions have porridge lovers battling with their best recipes.
A pediatrician who specializes in fixing broken bones in kids and teens says about 90 percent of the fractures he treats have been splinted improperly in a community ER or urgent care center first.
In 1997, Cylvia Hayes received money to marry an Ethiopian who wanted a green card. Her fiance, Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber, is seeking a fourth term. She says he didn't know of the marriage.
The pledge to create a force to assist in fighting the self-declared Islamic State comes a day after Ankara called for creating a buffer zone around its border with Syria.
Vaccination isn't a perfect defense against flu. But vaccines remain the most reliable way to reduce the risk from an illness that causes thousands of deaths in the U.S. during a typical flu season.
A military analyst at American University has revised his estimated price for the U.S.-led fight against ISIS to $40 billion per year. That's double Gordon Adam's original estimates, and he attributes the increase to unforeseen resilience from the extremist group, and a need to bolster U.S. allies in the region.
As we wait for a more official number from the Pentagon, here are the other stories we're reading and numbers we're watching Friday.17
The age of human rights and education advocate Malala Yousafzai, who was learned she she is the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize at school Friday, the BBC reported. Yousafzai survived being shot in the head by a Taliban assassin in 2012 after campaigning for girls' education in Pakistan's Swat Valley. She will share the award with Indian children rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.20 million
That's how many people shop at the Macy's flagship store in midtown Manhattan each year. Amazon will open its very first brick-and-mortar store just down the street, the Wall Street Journal reported. Little is known about the store, but it will reportedly serve as a hub for pick-ups and returns, while eventually selling Amazon devices, like the Kindle and Fire smartphone.$10,000
That's how much the NFL is fining San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for wearing his Beats by Dre headphones to a press conference last weekend. The league has an exclusive sponsorship deal with Bose, ESPN reported. Kaepernick, who has an endorsement deal with Beats, wouldn't say if the company will reimburse him for the fine.
Thinking about college, but not prepared to go More kids than ever are taking the SAT, but lots aren’t ready for what comes next.
More than 1.6 million students took the SAT in 2014, yet the percentage of those deemed ready for college and career hasn’t budged in years.What percentage of SAT test-takers met the College Board’s readiness benchmark in 2014?
The passenger, who was taken off a flight after it landed in the Dominican Republic, reportedly coughed and then said: "I have Ebola. You're all screwed."
First up, more on the key indexes were mixed in early trading today following the awful performance of Thursday. Until recently, market participants looked at the stronger dollar buying more oil, pushing the price of energy down and figured these were good things for profits and household budgets. Suddenly, sentiment turns, and the strong dollar and cheap oil are bad things because they underscore the weakness of economies from Europe to Asia. Plus, it's World Mental Health Day, so we thought it would be a useful moment to check in on mental health in the workplace. The CDC estimates that depression alone can cause 200 million lost workdays, costing companies as much as $44 billion every year. And on Sunday, Bolivians go to the polls to vote for president. Evo Morales, is running for a third term and is the favorite to win. In the past decade, Bolivia's been praised for cutting poverty, but it still remains one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere. Morales is Boliva's first president of indigenous heritage and a pillar of his leadership has been to improve the lives of indigenous communities, which are a majority.
It's time for Silicon Tally! How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?
It’s World Mental Health Day, a good opportunity to check in on mental health in the workplace. The CDC estimates that depression alone can cause 200 million lost workdays annually, costing companies as much as $44 billion every year.
Does that motivate employers to offer more mental health benefits? A 2014 survey from the American Psychological Association found just 45 percent of employees say they get help from employers to meet their mental health needs. But the APA’s Dr. David Ballard—who works with businesses closely—says company attitudes are changing.
“I think we’ve shifted from a lack of awareness and a lack of understanding to a desire to address it, but not always knowing how to do that,” he says
Case in point, Ballard points to the small Wooster, Ohio, company Certified Angus Beef, which may be on the cutting edge of mental health wellness.
Once a month, the firm brings in a clinical psychologist that staff can see on company time. On top of that, Certified Angus Beef offers employees and their family members up to three free visits a year.
“When we really looked at what people struggle with is all the stress, all the life stress,” says the company's director of human resources, Pam Cottrell. She says in three years, utilization of services has tripled.
Ballard says what he likes about the Certified Angus Beef’s approach is that it’s easy, and affordable. The company spends less than $10,000 a year on the benefit.
On Friday, President Barack Obama will declare 346,000 acres of forestland just north of Los Angeles as a national monument.
Supporters hope the move will free up both federal and private money that they say is needed to take better care of the San Gabriel Mountains forest area, a popular recreation destination with millions of visitors a year.
"This national forest is one of the most visited places in the country,” says Daniel Rossman, who as chair of the group San Gabriel Mountains Forever has been working for more than a decade to get more resources for the forestland.
Some who live near the forest have not wanted a monument designation, because they are concerned that it will come with restrictions, such as limits on land use.
But Rossman says the designation is necessary, because the Forest Service has had trouble keeping up with all the trash and pollution that comes with so many visitors.
"I’ve personally done clean-ups, picking up dirty diapers and old pieces of clothing,” Rossman says, adding that the mountains are responsible for 30 percent of the Los Angeles region’s water supply.
California Congresswoman Judy Chu says the president’s executive action will circumvent the current gridlock in Congress.
The monument designation will not only bring more personnel and federal money to the forest, it will also allow for private fundraising, says Chu.
“You can have a private-public partnership. And already we have non-profit and private donations that have been pledged,” Chu says.
The Forest Service will be able to set the privately-raised money aside for the San Gabriel Mountains monument; Something it couldn’t do for a national forest.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Judy Chu had been working on Congressional legislation for more than 10 years. Though she supports the change, she has not been advocating for it for that long.
After an appeals court put Wisconsin's law back into effect, the Supreme Court's liberal wing, plus Justices Kennedy and Roberts, voted put the law on hold while they decide whether to take the case.
During a talk at a conference about women in technology, Satya Nadella said those women who don't ask for raises would be compensated by "karma."
Hooks was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1991, playing key characters like Hillary Clinton and Sinead O'Connor.
The Wall Street Journal reports the online retailer's store will also serve as a mini-warehouse that could provide same-day delivery the New York region.
A series of developments over the past 24 hours have made one Ebola case feel like an epidemic. But the truth is the risk of Ebola spreading in the United States is the same it's been for months.