Sharepoint settings wont activate. Need before I can change default CSS Color codes

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Occasional Visitor

I am trying to take a sharepoint calendar with overlays and change the default colors.  After reading articles and watching several videos it appears these are the steps.   However, I am having issues with completing the first step and the microsoft tech told me to post on this site.  

Here are the steps:

Step 1

Go to Site Settings

Site collection features

Then SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure and click activate.  When I do this I get a screen that says Sorry, something went wrong! then I click technical details....  I get Troubleshoot issues with Microsoft SharePoint Foundation. the link that is there sends me to a page that says 

Unfortunately, help seems to be broken...
There aren't any help collections in the current language for the site you're using.
 
Step 2 would be to go back to site settings 
Click Manage Site Features 
Click activate SharePoint Server Publishing  (which will activate) 
 
After we change these two settings to active we will add a alternative CSS URL. 
 
This will hopefully then give us other 9 new colors to choose from on the overlay calendar. 
 
Anyone have a solution to my step one where it wont let me activate SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure
 
Thank you for any help you may provide. 
 
 
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