5 things to know Monday

US celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day and Columbus Day

A growing number of cities are replacing Columbus Day — celebrated Monday — with Indigenous Peoples Day. President Joe Biden on Friday issued the first-ever presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Day, lending the most significant boost yet to efforts to refocus the federal holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus toward an appreciation of Native peoples. Monday is also Columbus Day, which commemorates the arrival of the Italian explorer to North America in 1492. Native American groups say the holiday embraces Western colonialism and pays tribute to a man who promoted the trans-Atlantic slave trade and is responsible for the genocide of indigenous people, while some Italian Americans see the move to scrap the holiday as an affront to their ethnic heritage. 

Southwest Airlines hopes for ‘more normal’ day after nationwide cancellations

Southwest Airlines canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend, citing air traffic control issues and weather. The airline’s President Mike Van de Ven said he hoped operations Monday would be “more normal.” Van de Ven’s comment came after Southwest cancelled more than 1,100 flights Sunday, roughly 30% of its scheduled flights that day, stranding travelers and flight crews across the country. Travelers need to check their flight status before heading to the airport. As of 1:30 a.m. E.T. Monday, Southwest had already canceled 300 flights, according to flight tracker FlightAware. Prior to Monday’s cancellations, the airline apologized to employees. “I’m sorry for the struggles that you and our customers are experiencing, once again,” Alan Kasher, the airline’s executive vice president of daily operations said. 

Who will be awarded the Nobel Prize in economics?

The 2021 celebration of Nobel prizes comes to a close on Monday with the announcement of the winner in economics. Officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel, the award wasn’t created by the prize founder, but is considered to be part of the Nobel stable of awards. Last year’s economics prize went to Americans Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson for “improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.” On Friday, journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia won the Nobel Peace Prize for their fight for freedom of expression in countries where reporters have faced persistent attacks, harassment and even murder.

20,000 to run pandemic-delayed Boston Marathon

The first-ever fall Boston Marathon will finally hit the streets Monday following the cancellation of the 2020 race and a six-month delay in 2021. Originally scheduled for April 2020, the 125th edition of the Boston Marathon was first postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then canceled for the year — the first time since 1897 that no version of the race has been run. The 2021 race was postponed from April for six months to give the pandemic more time to abate. About 20,000 athletes are expected to compete in the 26.2-mile race. In addition to a medal, some water and maybe a banana, volunteers will be handing out masks to the finishers as they leave the socially distanced course and disperse into the city’s bustling Back Bay.

Educators get free breakfast at McDonalds

McDonald’s is treating America’s educators to breakfast starting on Monday.  Teachers, school staff and administrators can get a free “Thank You Meal” through Oct. 15 at participating restaurants nationwide during breakfast hours, the restaurant told USA TODAY exclusively. A valid work ID is needed to get the free meals that will be served in a classic Happy Meal box with a choice of one entree, hash browns and a beverage. The five-day giveaway is McDonald’s “first big national thank you gesture” for teachers, Jennifer “JJ” Healan, the company’s vice president of marketing, brand content and engagement, said. 

Contributing: Associated Press

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