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Encyclopedia > Federal Holiday

In the United States, a Federal holiday is a holiday recognized by the United States Government. Non-essential federal government offices are closed. Banks are generally closed as well. All federal employees are paid for the holiday; those who are required to work on the holiday receive wages for that day in addition to holiday pay. Stock and futures exchanges also close on these holidays, Bold text This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... ... “Banker” redirects here. ...

Contents

List of Holidays

Most federal holidays in the United States are created by Congress and are listed in Title V of the United States Code (5 U.S.C. ยง 6103).[1]. Holidays can also be created by presidential proclamation, but their observance - as with all executive orders - is not binding upon future presidents, any of whom may retract the proclamation of a holiday (but this is not possible with a holiday created by Act of Congress). Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups (as of November 7, 2006 elections) Democratic Party Republican... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ... Title 5 of the United States Code outlines the role of government organization and employees in the United States Code. ...


Constitutionally, there are no "national holidays" in the United States because Congress only has authority to create holidays for federal employees and institutions (including federally-owned or leased properties), and for the District of Columbia. Instead, there are federal holidays, state holidays, city holidays, and so on.


Currently, there are thirteen U.S. Federal holidays, most (but not all) of which are also state holidays in all 50 jurisdictions. Individual states often have additional holidays of their own (e.g., Cesar Chavez Day on March 31 is a California state holiday which celebrates the birthday of Cesar Chavez). Two of the federal holidays - Mother's Day and Father's Day - always fall on Sunday, so they are not noticed as federal holidays; but they were so proclaimed just the same. March 31 is the 90th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (91st in leap years), with 275 days remaining. ... 2003 USPS stamp featuring Chávez and the fields that were so important to him César Estrada Chávez (March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was an American farm worker, labor leader, and activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers. ... A celebratory Mothers Day cookie cake. ... Fathers Day is a primarily secular holiday inaugurated in the early 20th century to complement Mothers Day in celebrating fatherhood and parenting by males, and to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers. ...

Date Official Name Remarks
January 1 New Year's Day Celebrates beginning of the Gregorian calendar year. Festivities include countdowns to midnight (12:00 AM). (one of four "bank holidays" that were created before 1870)
Third Monday in January Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Honors Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights leader; combined with other holidays in several states (King's birthday was January 15; Congress created the federal holiday in 1983)
January 20, every fourth year, following Presidential election Inauguration Day Swearing-in of President of the United States and other elected federal officials. A holiday only in the District of Columbia and certain neighboring counties and cities in Maryland and Virginia. Note: The formal holiday is celebrated on January 21 when January 20 falls on a Sunday, but the President is still inaugurated on the 20th because that date is specified by the U.S. Constitution and cannot be changed without a constitutional amendment.
Third Monday in February Washington's Birthday Honors George Washington. Often popularly observed as "Presidents Day" in recognition of other American presidents, such as Abraham Lincoln (who was born February 12). The legal name of the federal holiday, however, is "Washington's Birthday", not "Presidents Day". (historically observed on February 22, prior to passage of the Monday Holiday Bill by Congress; Washington's Birthday was created a federal holiday in 1879)
Second Monday in May Mother's Day Honors motherhoold and all mothers. (first observed in 1908; proclaimed a federal holiday, fixed to the second Sunday in May, by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914)
Last Monday in May Memorial Day Also known as "Decoration Day", Memorial Day originated in the nineteenth century as a day to remember the soldiers who gave their lives in the American Civil War by decorating their graves with flowers. Later, the practice of decorating graves came to include members of ones own family, whether they saw military service or not. Memorial Day is traditionally the beginning of the summer season in America. (historically observed on May 30, prior to the Monday Holiday Bill; first observance, as "Decoration Day", 1866, in New York; first national observance, 1868; created a federal holiday as "Memorial Day", 1967)
Third Sunday in June Father's Day Honors fatherhood and all fathers. (first observed in 1908, it was officially made a holiday by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 but was not officially recognized until 1972, under the administration of President Richard M. Nixon).
July 4 Independence Day Celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. More commonly known as "the Fourth of July". (one of the four 'bank holidays' that existed in 1870)
First Monday in September Labor Day Celebrates achievements of workers and the labor movement. Labor Day traditionally marks the end of the summer season in America, and frequently still immediately precedes the first day of primary and secondary school. (holiday first observed in 1882)
Second Monday in October Columbus Day Honors Christopher Columbus, who landed in the Americas on October 12, 1492. In some areas it is also a celebration of Italian culture and heritage. (historically observed on October 12, prior to the Monday holiday bill; first observed as a state holiday in 1907; proclaimed a federal holiday by President Roosevelt, 1937)
November 11 Veterans Day Also known as Armistice Day, and very occasionally called "Remembrance Day", 'Veterans Day' is the American label for the international holiday which commemorates the signing of the Armistice ending World War I. It honors all veterans of the United States Armed Forces, whether or not they have served in a conflict; but it especially honors the surviving veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. In effect, every year, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the entire world pauses to remember. (the American holiday was briefly moved to the final Monday in October under the Monday Holiday Bill, but the change was greatly disliked and soundly criticized - among other reasons, because it put Veterans Day out of sync with international observance; so it was restored to November 11; first observed in the United States in 1919, and made a federal holiday in 1926)
Fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day Celebrates the bounty of America and the harvest, commonly with consumption of a turkey dinner. It is the traditional start of the Christmas season in the United States. The day after Thanksgiving is called "Black Friday" and is, quite literally, the single most important sales day for American retailers. The success of Black Friday often determines whether a retail business will end the year "in the black" (with a financial profit) or "in the red" (with a financial loss). (historically observed on various days, finally becoming to the fourth Thursday of November in 1941; a federal holiday since 1863, and one of the four bank holidays that existed in 1870, but with roots going back to the English and Spanish colonial periods - the first being a thanksgiving celebration in what is now El Paso, Texas - then, part of "New Spain" - in 1598; the second, a 1619 thanksgiving day in the Virginia Colony; and, in 1621, the famous proto-typical thanksgiving feast was held in the Plymouth Colony by the Pilgrims)
December 25 Christmas Day Simultaneously a religious holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, observed on 25 December in most Christian faiths; and a secular holiday, which emphasizes family togetherness, kindness and goodwill toward all people. The secular side of the holiday includes the exchange of gifts and decoration of a Christmas Tree. (one of the four bank holidays that existed in 1870, having been established by leaders of the Christmas Reform Movement, to rehabilitate the secular festival from two weeks of drunken revelry into a series of days focused on hearth and home, family and children)

Under the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill of 1968 (effective 1971), Washington's Birthday (February 22), Memorial Day (May 30), Columbus Day (October 12), and Veterans Day (November 11) were assigned, respectively, to the third Monday of February, final Monday of May, second Monday of October, and final Monday of October. Veterans groups and all 50 states refused to accept the shift of Veterans Day from November 11, however, and Congress was eventually forced to move it back to its original position on the calendar in 1980. January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... This article is about January 1 in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world. ... (Redirected from 12 hour clock) The 12-hour clock is a timekeeping convention in which the 24 hours of the day are divided into two periods called ante meridiem (AM, Latin for before noon) and post meridiem (PM, Latin for after noon). Each period consists of 12 hours numbered 12... The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. ... “Martin Luther King” redirects here. ... Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... January 20 is the 20th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Inauguration Day is the day on which the President of the United States is sworn in and takes office. ... The presidential seal was first used in 1880 by President Rutherford B. Hayes and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ... ... Official language(s) None (English, de facto) Capital Annapolis Largest city Baltimore Area  Ranked 42nd  - Total 12,407 sq mi (32,133 km²)  - Width 90 miles (145 km)  - Length 249 miles (400 km)  - % water 21  - Latitude 37°53N to 39°43N  - Longitude 75°4W to 79°33... Official language(s) English Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Area  Ranked 35th  - Total 42,793 sq mi (110,862 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 430 miles (690 km)  - % water 7. ... January 21 is the 21st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Page I of the Constitution of the United States of America Page II of the United States Constitution Page III of the United States Constitution Page IV of the United States Constitution The Syng inkstand, with which the Constitution was signed The Constitution of the United States is the supreme... Presidents Day is the common name for the United States federal holiday officially designated as Washingtons Birthday. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States of America. ... The Uniform Monday Holiday Act (public law no. ... A celebratory Mothers Day cookie cake. ... Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed this year on 2007-05-28). ... The American Civil War was fought in the United States from 1861 until 1865 between the northern states, popularly referred to as the U.S., the Union, the North, or the Yankees; and the seceding southern states, commonly referred to as the Confederate States of America, the CSA, the Confederacy... May 30 is the 150th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (151st in leap years). ... Fathers Day is a primarily secular holiday inaugurated in the early 20th century to complement Mothers Day in celebrating fatherhood and parenting by males, and to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers. ... For the United States holiday, the Fourth of July, see Independence Day (United States). ... These fireworks over the Washington Monument are typical of Fourth of July celebrations In the United States, Independence Day, also called the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. ... A copy of the 1823 William J. Stone reproduction of the Declaration of Independence The United States Declaration of Independence was an act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4, 1776, which declared that the Thirteen Colonies were independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain. ... Labour Day (or Labor Day) is an annual holiday that resulted from efforts of the labour union movement, to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. ... Columbus Day is a holiday celebrated in many countries in the Americas, commemorating the date of Christopher Columbuss arrival in the New World on October 12, 1492. ... Christopher Columbus (1451 – May 20, 1506) was a navigator and maritime explorer credited as the discoverer of the Americas. ... World map showing the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere historically considered to consist of the continents of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... October 12 is the 285th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (286th in leap years). ... November 11 is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 50 days remaining. ... President Eisenhower signs HR7786, officially changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... The armed forces of the United States of America consist of the United States Army United States Navy United States Air Force United States Marine Corps United States Coast Guard Note: The United States Coast Guard has both military and law enforcement functions. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Combatants United Nations:  Republic of Korea,  Australia,  Belgium,  Luxembourg,  Canada,  Colombia,  Ethiopia,  France,  Greece,  Luxembourg,  Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Philippines,  South Africa,  Thailand,  Turkey,  United Kingdom,  United States Medical staff:  Denmark,  Australia,  Italy,  Norway,  Sweden Communist states:  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,  Peoples Republic of China,  Soviet Union Commanders... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is an annual one-day holiday to give thanks, traditionally to God, for the things one has at the end of the harvest season. ... Turkey Dinner is the sixth episode of the seventh series of the British comedy series Dads Army that was originally transmitted on Monday the 23 December 1974. ... December 25 is the 359th day of the year (360th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 6 days remaining in the year. ... Joseph and Mary with baby Jesus, at the first Christmas Christmas (literally, the Mass of Christ) is a holiday in the Christian calendar, usually observed on December 25, which celebrates the birth of Jesus. ... Adoration of the Shepherds (1535-40), by Florentine Mannerist painter Agnolo Bronzino Nativity windows at Trinity Church, Boston, designed by Edward Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris, 1882 The Nativity of Jesus, or simply the Nativity, is the account of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. ... December 25 is the 359th day of the year (360th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 6 days remaining in the year. ... A Christmas tree from 1900. ... The Office of Personnel Management (or OPM) is an Independent Agency of the United States Government that manages the civil service of the federal government. ...


Whenever any federal holiday falls on a weekend (excepting those, like Mother's Day, which are established as weekend holidays), the formal holiday is observed as it falls - that is, the new year still starts on January 1, Christmas presents are still opened on the morning of December 25, and fireworks to celebrate American independence are still set off on July 4. But the 'informal' side of the holiday, i.e., the day off from work, is shifted to the nearest weekday. So, if Christmas falls on Saturday, most public and private sector employees typically get Friday, December 24 as a holiday, since they would normally not work on Saturday. Or when Independence Day falls on Sunday, the day off happens on Monday. Inauguration Day is the exception. When January 20 falls on Sunday, the President is inaugurated, as the Constitution demands, but the formal festivities are moved to Monday, January 21.


It is also common (though far from universal) for private employers to provide an extra day off when a major holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, thereby creating an extra-long weekend. For example, if New Year's Day is on Tuesday, many businesses will close for the Monday between the weekend and the holiday, just as many close for the Friday between Thanksgiving and the weekend. This is almost never done in government, however, because of the cost to taxpayers. The day after thanksgiving is a regular working day for employees of the U.S. Government, though a number of state governments do observe the day after Thanksgiving as a holiday.


The Free Speech and other provisions of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prevent any level of government from compelling any person to observe a particular holiday. Neither are private employers required to observe any legal holidays, for the same reason - except for private sector business which are regulated by the federal government pursuant to a provision in the U.S. Constitution (e.g., federally chartered banks must observe statutory federal holidays). Most businesses and private citizens do observe New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day (many also observing the Day After Thanksgiving), and Christmas Day. Note: The establishment of Christmas as a federal and state holiday does not offend the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment because, 1) it was established as a legal holiday before most Americans (then, mostly Calvinist and Calvinistic Protestants) observed Christmas as a religious holiday, 2)no one is compelled to observe it, and 3) enough people 'do' observe the holiday that there would be no point to opening a government office on Christmas Day, because few or no people would be there - either to provide or receive service. The first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. ...


Similarly, the limitations placed upon the United States Government by the U.S. Constitution (especially the Tenth Amendment) prevent federal law from compelling any state, municipal or other local government to observe or recognize federal holidays in any way. For many years, New Hampshire and Arizona infamously refused to make Martin Luther King, Jr's. birthday a state holiday. The Tenth Amendment may refer to the: Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights. ...


Practically, most states 'have' established all 13 federal holidays as state holidays, but not always with the same name; and they are not observed to the same degree. Some states, for example, have "Washington and Lincoln's Birthdays" instead of just "Washington's Birthday". The legal name of any holiday comes from the legislation or executive proclamation that creates it. Popular names, on the other hand, originate with the general public and/or tradition. The "Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr." holiday is commonly called "Martin Luther King Day", and the "Washington's Birthday" holiday is commonly called "Presidents' Day". Independence Day is often called "The 4th of July".


Public holidays due to Presidential Proclamation

Federal law also provides for the declaration of other public holidays by the President of the United States. Generally the president will provide a reasoning behind the elevation of the day, and call on the people of the United States to observe the day "with appropriate ceremonies and activities." However, federal government offices are not usually closed on these days, and many members of the general public may not be aware that such holidays even exist. As with statutory holidays created by Congress and/or state and local legislatures, there can be no requirement that private citizens and businesses actually observe these holidays. Religious Freedom Day (January 16) National Sanctity of Human Life Day (Third Sunday in January) Martin Luther King Jr. ... The presidential seal was first used in 1880 by President Rutherford B. Hayes and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ...


For example, by Executive Order, President George W. Bush declared January 2, 2007 a "National Day of Mourning" in honor of former President Gerald Ford and ordered all executive departments, independent establishments, and other governmental agencies closed. This did not apply to governmental agencies that should remain open for reasons of national security or defense or other essential public business. George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... January 2 is the 2nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... this guy is awsome i played him in a school play he also has some pretty funky history Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. ...


Controversy

Some people have objected to honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and/or Christopher Columbus with holidays. As a result, Martin Luther King Day took several years to gain national acceptance and is called "Human Rights Day" in some locations. Some local jurisdictions observe "Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Day" instead of "Columbus Day". Similarly, some public schools in the US re-name the vacation taken near and after Christmas "Winter Holiday" or "Winter Break", to avoid the implication that all students are obligated to observe Christian or nominally Christian holidays. State and local legal names for any particular holiday do not have any bearing upon the names of federal holidays. “Martin Luther King” redirects here. ... Christopher Columbus (1451 – May 20, 1506) was a navigator and maritime explorer credited as the discoverer of the Americas. ... Christmas is an annual holiday that marks the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. ...


See also

Holidays Portal

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Holidays of the United States vary with local observance. ... Religious Freedom Day (January 16) National Sanctity of Human Life Day (Third Sunday in January) Martin Luther King Jr. ...

External links

  • Northern District of California Court Information
  • United States Code: Federal Holidays

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