Martin Luther King, Jr Day - a national holiday - Why? I do not get holidays commemorating individual people. Presidents Washington and Lincoln each had a holiday but to make room for MLK their "birthdays" got smooshed together because it seems there is a predetermined amount of days in the year that can be national holidays. If these holidays can be so easily moved around, changed and condensed what the hell meaning do they have in the first place? Oh, everyone needs an occasional free (ie: with pay) day off from work? OK, I can buy that - I remember how I looked forward to those days but why not just decide "Hey, the second Friday of every second month is a paid day off" - there you go, there's your extra paid days off.
New Years Day - a holiday - why? It's the first of January - big whoop. Do you think the other months feel short changed because we don't celebrate the first of them, tho April 1st gets called a fool outright.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No rationale behind this one at all - appease African-Americans?
President's Day - I think Lincoln probably did more for Black Americans than MLK; and he doesn't get his own day any more. Washington? A general and the first president of the United States - so what? Calling Washington the "father of our country" is just dumb. There are others who are dubbed "founding fathers" and they have more right to that description. Aside from being an army general (and not a very good one) what did he do? Get to be the first president of a new country because he was the least contentious choice? (In this country voting for a president has always been choosing the lesser of two evils). From what I've read he wasn't the brightest bulb on the marquee. But you know this country, it sure does love it's generals (Go, war!)
Memorial Day - ok this one is good - this can be a national holiday.
Independence Day - Absolutely, and it should always be celebrated on July 4th - no messing around with the celebration date.
Labor Day - No...just that - No.
Columbus Day - Oh this one always frosts my ass (and I'm Italian). Once again a national holiday for a person. Columbus didn't discover America - I think the closest he ever got was Cuba - let the Cubans celebrate Columbus Day! Besides North American was here, with people, long before Columbus sailed by. It's not like no one knew it existed - just no one in Europe knew it existed and then there is the whole Viking thing - they sure as hell were on this continent before the Europeans - don't get me started.
Veterans Day - this is valid in my opinion but I think it can be quite comfortably observed with Memorial Day.
Thanksgiving - No excuse. No rhyme. No reason.
Christmas - No excuse. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Ninguno. Please, if you are religious, go to church. If you like to shop, well, hell you can do that anytime. Besides, this is a multi-religious country why is there only one "religious" holiday observed on a national basis? Jesus of Nazareth was born in the Spring, so the religious holiday observed on December 25th is the Wiccan holiday of Yule, Christianity ain't got jack-all to do with it.
I do realize that many people, mostly New Yorkers, think that Yom Kippur is a national holiday but honest to god, it's not - the rest of the country toddles along just like normal on that day.
So, you ask, what holidays should be "national" holidays? If you were paying attention you would have gotten at least two of them, the third is gonna surprise you.
National Holidays endorsed by me:
Memorial Day: Absolutely let us take a day to remember and honor the people who have fought and died in the many wars. This should also encompass remembering and honoring veterans as well.
Independence Day: Yeah, it's cool to celebrate the founding of our country.
And the third national holiday should be election day - EVERY year not just presidential election years. As a matter of fact voting should be mandatory with penalties for NOT voting because saying "if you don't vote you don't get to bitch and complain" doesn't work.
So there you have it 3 official national holidays and 6 national days off with pay. If I missed any current national holidays, well that just goes to show you how bloody important they are.
It seems every day in the year has been designated to commemorate something or other - national clean your kitties ears day or some such nonsense - well aside from Memorial Day, Independence Day and election day, all those other quote unquote holidays are just the same sort of nonsense...