The Catholic University of America

Mark Rienzi, assistant professor, law, wrote a Feb. 17 New York Times op-ed about secular reasons to mark religious days. To view the full article, click here.

Secular Reasons to Mark Religious Days

From: New York Times
Date: Feb. 17, 2013
Author: Mark Rienzi

In 1870, an Illinois representative introduced to the House of Representatives a bill to declare several days federal holidays. The bill's language was approved by the House and the Senate, and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in late June 1870. It included Jan. 1, July 4, Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 25 as holidays. Congress acknowledged that Jan. 1 is “commonly called New Year's Day” and Dec. 25 is “commonly called Christmas Day.” Thanksgiving, presumably, was identified by its name because its date changes from year to year.

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