Pop quiz. True or False: The 4th of July is a national holiday
If you answered False, you are correct!
The truth is, the United States has no “national holidays.” The constitution does not grant permission for any national holidays. Instead, Congress can create holidays only for federal institutions. These holidays are known as “bank holidays” and are generally observed by most employers in the country. Federal holidays, or bank holidays, are designated by the United States Congress. Your employer has the right to determine whether or not you’re still required to show up at the office.
10 federal holidays in the United States:
January 1: New Year’s Day
The 3rd Monday in January: Martin Luther King, Jr., Day
The 3rd Monday in February: Presidents Day
The last Monday in May: Memorial Day
July 4: Independence Day
The 1st Monday in September: Labor Day
The 1st Monday in October: Columbus Day
The 2nd Tuesday in November: Veterans Day
The 3rd Thursday in November: Thanksgiving Day
December 25: Christmas Day
Federal holidays that fall on a Saturday are usually observed on the preceding Friday. When the holiday falls on a Sunday, it is usually observed on the following Monday.
How this affects banks
Traditionally, U.S. banks and other financial institutions are closed on the ten federal holidays observed each year. While some companies remain open with regular working hours, the U.S. Federal Reserve will be closed and some transactions will be delayed by one business day.
In addition to these ten annual federal holidays, there are some states in the Union that have holidays all their own.
During these holidays, state government offices are closed and employees are often given the day off of work to participate in the festivities.
- Nevada Day: To celebrate the anniversary of the state’s admission to the Union, the last Friday in October is now an official holiday in the Silver State. Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, Alaska, and Missouri also all have unique days dedicated to celebrating their individual settlement or adoption.
- Patriot’s Day: If you’re in Massachusetts, the third Monday in April is long celebrated Patriot’s Day.
- Wisconsin: Wisconsin has more holidays off than any other state with three unique holidays just for Wisconsin-ites. Mildred Fish Harnack Day (Sept. 16), is a celebration of the only native-born American to be killed by the Gestapo; Casimir Pulaski Day (March 4), celebrating the Polish general who saved George Washington’s life; and Robert La Follette Sr. Day (June 14), honoring the late senator and 1924 presidential candidate.
- Hawaii: As the only U.S. state to have been ruled by a non-British monarch, Hawaii still celebrates Prince Jonah Kuhlo Kalanianaole Day on March 26 and June 11 for King Kamehameha I Day.
- Seward’s Day: The last Monday in March is the anniversary of signing the Alaska Purchase treaty and is celebrated state-wide.
- Texas: On April 21, the state celebrates San Jacinto Day, the anniversary of Texas winning its independence from Mexico. Some state workers also get Aug. 27 off of work in honor of Lyndon Johnson’s birthday.
- Missouri: President Harry Truman gets his own holiday in Missouri on May 8.
- Pioneer Day. Utah celebrates the date Brigham Young and his settlers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, on July 24th.
- Vermont: The Battle of Bennington actually happened in New York, but state workers in Vermont still get the day off on the third Friday in August.
- Kentucky: Kentucky figured out that everyone takes the Friday after Thanksgiving off anyway, so now it’s an official state holiday (so is Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve).