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When was christmas declared a us national holiday

when was christmas declared a us national holiday

The federal government has proclaimed the following 10 dates as holidays for federal government employees, and most states observe these holidays on the same. Christmas, celebrated by most Christians on December 25, commemorates the birth of Jesus the federal courts have upheld its status as a legal holiday. Mr. Biden is expected to sign it. “I introduced this to make Juneteenth a federal holiday to commemorate the end of chattel slavery, America's.
when was christmas declared a us national holiday
when was christmas declared a us national holiday

When was christmas declared a us national holiday -

The Surprising Story of Christmas in the United States

The custom of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ is not exactly a new one for Christians around the world: the holiday is believed to date back to Dec. 25, 336 A.D., in Rome. But in the U.S., Christmas was not officially a federal day off from work or a break from mail delivery until 1870.

In fact, though the term may be used freely, Christmas isn’t really a “national” holiday in the U.S.; rather, it is a federal holiday and a holiday in the states. Neither the President nor Congress exercises the power to declare a holiday that would apply to everyone in all of the states at once, the Congressional Research Service points out.

Still, that doesn’t mean the U.S. has historically been unenthusiastic about Christmas. The Puritans banned Christmas celebrations, but by the time the holiday was made a legal one in addition to a religious one, Americans were already a notably Christmas-celebrating group.

Several older, highly industrialized states declared Christmas a legal holiday in the mid-19th century. Massachusetts makes a good case study: with burnout rates skyrocketing during the Industrial Revolution, one state legislator argued that the lack of leisure time was literally killing workers. So, though Massachusetts had had a state-supported church until 1833 and it’s likely that many workers in the predominantly Christian society would have taken the day off anyway, the effort to pass the law came from commercial lobbies rather than religious groups.

“When that legislature declared Christmas to be a legal holiday, they included a proviso that, when Christmas happened to fall on a Sunday, the following Monday would become the legal holiday. They did the same thing with Washington’s Birthday, which had never been a holiday before,” says Stephen Nissenbaum, author of The Battle for Christmas: A Social and Cultural History of Our Most Cherished Holiday. “Opposition to the bill focused on the Washington’s Birthday provision, presumably because it was politically easier to attack.”

Finally, on June 28, 1870, toward the end of the legislative session, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into a bill designating Christmas a legal, unpaid holiday for federal employees in the District of Columbia.

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The legislation also included holidays like the Fourth of July and New Year’s Day. Such holidays were later extended to federal employees outside of D.C., but a provision making sure they got paid on those days didn’t exist until 1938. According to congressional records, the 1870 law was instigated by area “bankers and business men” who wanted certain holidays to be formalized. Though it might have stood to reason that such a bill might provoke debate about hot-button issues like the separation of church and state, there was no notable debate on the bill in committee. (“One could argue that giving federal workers the day off, which is all the federal holiday does, does not ‘support’ any religion — it doesn’t require anyone to do anything religious, it just says the office won’t be open,” says Douglas Ambrose, a professor of history at Hamilton College and an expert in Christianity in early American history.)

But some historians argue that Christmas in the U.S. isn’t really about any law at all.

Rather, the idea that Christmas is a national American holiday may have been a matter of the widespread appeal of certain practices that spread in the 19th century, such as writing Christmas cards, decorating Christmas trees — a custom from Victorian England that was introduced to Americans by popular magazine Godey’s LadyBook — and telling children about Santa Claus, who was depicted by the era’s famous political cartoonist Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly. Though some have theorized that the law was meant to unite North and South during the height of the Reconstruction period after the Civil War, the northern publishing houses that produced Christmas imagery and circulating the latest customs and traditions led the charge for the holiday, argues Penne L. Restad, author of Christmas in America: A History and a senior lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin.

While a day off from work was important, that wasn’t the only purpose of Christmas during that rapidly changing time. Christmas customs encouraged a sense of community and unity at a time when urbanization, industrialization and the memory of the recent Civil War had made many people feel more unsettled than ever, says Restad. Unsurprisingly, Thanksgiving’s place as a federal holiday dates to the same era. During that time, people across the nation sought to impose order on a confusing world, from time zones to department stores. One result of that effort was an expanding sense of what America meant.

“This idea of creating a nation becomes important,” Restad says.

And Christmas was part of how the nation came to be.

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Write to Olivia B. Waxman at [email protected]


Legal State Holidays

State Holidays
  • New Year's Day - January 1
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day - First Monday on or after January 15
  • Lincoln's Birthday - February 12
  • Washington's Birthday - Third Monday in February
  • Memorial Day - Last Monday in May
  • Independence Day - July 4
  • Labor Day - First Monday in September
  • Columbus Day - Second Monday in October
  • Veterans Day - November 11
  • Christmas Day - December 25

Whenever any of such days occurs upon a Sunday, the Monday next following such day shall be a legal holiday and whenever any of such days occurs upon a Saturday, the Friday immediately preceding such day shall be a legal holiday. (Section 1-4 Connecticut General Statutes)

Holidays Designated by the Governor
  • Good Friday - The Friday before Easter Sunday
  • Thanksgiving Day - The Fourth Thursday in November

Federal holidays 2019: When are they and how many do you get this year?

With December here, it means it's time to embrace winter as we move into the last month of the year.

In addition to cold weather and the promise of snow, the month of December also brings us closer to the next federal holiday.

On December 25, Americans, and many others, will celebrate Christmas, the last federal holiday of the year.

The holiday, which is celebrated with presents, food and quality time spent with family and friends, takes place each year on the 25th of December.

Federal holidays, often observed with paid-time off from work, were created by Congress in 1885 when it was decided that federal employees should have certain days off from work.

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As time went by, Congress realised how nice it was to have paid-time off – and added historical days of significance to the list of federal holidays, bringing the total number to 10.

And, to ensure that Americans get the chance to celebrate the holidays no matter what day they fall on, there are guidelines for observing.

Federal holidays that fall on a Saturday are observed by federal employees on the previous Friday, whereas holidays that fall on Sunday are observed the following Monday.

On these days, non-essential federal government offices are closed and banks, post offices and schools may also be closed.

For employees in the private sector, federal holidays may or may not mean a day off – as they cannot legally be required to observe the holiday. Fortunately, most employers will still give employees the day off – or pay extra to employees working on the day.

These are the days to mark on your calendar for the coming year – and the best days to book a long weekend.

2019 Federal holidays:

New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1

Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.: Monday, January 21

Birthday of George Washington (President’s Day): Monday, February 18

Memorial Day: Monday, May 27

Independence Day: Thursday, July 4

Labor Day: Monday, September 2

Columbus Day: Monday, October 14

Veterans' Day: Monday, November 11

Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 28

Christmas Day: Wednesday, December 25

Other important holidays to note that you don’t get off for:

Groundhog Day: Saturday, February 2

Valentine’s Day: Thursday, February 14

Saint Patrick’s Day: Sunday, March 17

Tax Day: Monday, April 15

Good Friday: Friday, April 19

Easter: Sunday, April 21

Cinco de Mayo: Sunday, May 5

Mother’s Day: Sunday, May 12

Father’s Day: Sunday, June 16

Halloween: Thursday, October 31

Black Friday: Friday, November 29

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Note:This story has been reported in newspapers since the 1930s, and is all over the internet including the but the Alabama Department of Archives and History has not found any evidence that it is true. What do you think?

Merry Christmas from Alabama Pioneers!

Did you know that Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday. The tradition began in 1836.size (17)

The popularity of Christmas was spurred on in 1820 by Washington Irving’s book The Keeping of Christmas at Bracebridge Hall. Then in 1834, Britain’s Queen Victoria brought her German husband, Prince Albert, into Windsor Castle, introducing the tradition of the Christmas tree and carols that were held in Europe to the British Empire.

A week before Christmas in 1834, Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol (in which he wrote that Scrooge required Cratchit to work, and that the US Congress met on Christmas Day). It was so popular that neither the churches nor the governments could ignore the importance of Christmas celebrations and so in 1836, Alabama became the first state in the US to declare Christmas a legal holiday.

Many Christmas parades take place in cities throughout Alabama every year.   Below are some photographs of parades from our past.

Paul Harvey riding in a convertible, as the grand marshal of a Christmas parade in downtown Russellville, Alabama. December 1975Paul_Harvey_riding_in_a_convertible_as_the_grand_marshal_of_a_Christmas_parade_in_downtown_Russellville_Alabama

WCOV-TV float in the Christmas parade on Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama December 1967WCOVTV_float_in_the_Christmas_parade_on_Dexter_Avenue_in_Montgomery_AlabamaAlabama National Bank float in the Christmas parade on Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama December 1967Alabama_National_Bank_float_in_the_Christmas_parade_on_Dexter_Avenue_in_Montgomery_Alabama

Band performing in the Christmas parade on Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama December 1967Band_performing_in_the_Christmas_parade_on_Dexter_Avenue_in_Montgomery_Alabama

Float in the Christmas parade in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, on Bainbridge Street in front of the Capitol. November 24, 1962Float_in_the_Christmas_parade_in_downtown_Montgomery_Alabama_on_Bainbridge_Street_in_front_of_the_Capitol


Books make great Christmas gifts – Check out these by Alabama Author Donna R Causey

Bestselling novel RIBBON OF LOVE: 2nd edition – A Novel of Colonial America (Tapestry of Love Book 1)is the story of a first family in colonial America who fled to America to escape religious persecution, and eventually migrated to Alabama before it became a state – 


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Official Holidays

The holidays and the days they are observed are:

  • New Year's Day, January 1.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Third Monday in January.
  • President's Day, Third Monday in February.
  • Memorial Day, Last Monday in May.
  • Independence Day, July 4.
  • Labor Day, First Monday in September.
  • General Election Day, even-numbered years
  • Veterans Day, November 11.
  • Thanksgiving Day and the day after, the fourth Thursday and Friday in November.
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, December 24 and 25.
  • New Year's Eve, December 31.

The calendar dates for 2021 are:

  • January 1
  • January 18
  • February 15
  • May 31
  • July 5
  • September 6
  • November 11
  • November 25and 26
  • December 23 and 24
  • December 30 and 31

The calendar dates for 2022 are:

  • January 17
  • February 21
  • May 30
  • July 4
  • September 5
  • November 8
  • November 11
  • November 24 and 25
  • December 23 and 26
  • December 30 and January 2, 2023

State office closings for state holidays are regulated by the Michigan Department of Civil Service Regulation 5.08.
Public Act 124 of 1865 is the Michigan law governing official state holidays.


With Juneteenth now a national holiday, could Election Day and Indigenous Peoples Day be next?

Summer 2021 finally saw the adoption of Juneteenth as a national holiday, bringing to 12 the number of permanent federal holidays. Its advocates had pushed for decades for a national holiday that would recognize the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas became the last in the U.S. to find out they were free.

Yet advocates have long sought federal recognition of two other observances: Election Day and Indigenous Peoples Day.

Indigenous Peoples Day is a local and state holiday in some parts of the country — usually held on Columbus Day — that celebrates the cultures of Native Americans. It was created in 1992, the 500th anniversary of explorer Christopher Columbus' coming to the Americas. 

Election Day has been proposed as a national holiday at least since 2005 to increase voter turnout in a country with low voter participation. 

Pushes for both moved to the forefront in 2020 in the wake of heightened calls for social justice and increased accessibility to voting. Like the path to Juneteenth, the drive for these days to become nationwide holidays has been anything but a picnic.  

Now that Juneteenth is on the books, what’s the likelihood that Election Day and Indigenous Peoples Day, both occurring in the fall, could be added to calendars nationwide? A look at the road to reality for other holidays tied to representation may provide clues. 

Getting on the calendar

By now, the story of Opal Lee as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth'' is well-known.

The 94-year-old Fort Worth, Texas, resident has for decades championed the day that had been celebrated in her home state for over 150 years. On June 19, 1865, Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to give enslaved Black people the news that their owners never told them: President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier. 

The years that followed saw Juneteenth celebrations across Texas, which later spread across the South and to various other areas in the U.S. Lee helped organize many of them in the Fort Worth area, some of which involved doing 2.5-mile walks in tribute to the 2½ years it took for slaves to get the information about their freedom.

But then in 2016, she pushed further to make this day a national holiday, with a 1,400-mile walk from her home to the White House. Five years later, Lee was front and center when President Joe Biden signed the bill on June 17.

The long path to federal recognition of Juneteenth follows in line with some other holidays receiving that eventual status.

Schools: Montclair schools to observe Indigenous People's Day, make Juneteenth a district holiday

Reverse decision: After backlash, New Jersey school board reverses decision to scrap holiday names like Columbus Day

Years before Biden picked up a pen in the White House to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, then-President Ronald Reagan did the same on Nov. 2, 1983, when he signed the bill to mark the birthday of civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 

However, it was a 15-year process that started with then-Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, an African American who began advocating just days after King's assassination on April 4, 1968.

Conyers was initially rebuffed, yet he gained support from various quarters: Stevie Wonder recorded the "Happy Birthday" song in tribute to King. Millions of citizens signed a petition.

That led to the Senate and House both approving legislation for the holiday to fall on the third Monday in January, starting in 1986. Yet it took another 14 years for all 50 U.S. states to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Columbus Day, of course, commemorates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas on Oct. 12, 1492, and has been celebrated by Italian Americans to show pride in their culture as far back as the 1860s. 

The day itself was not acknowledged officially until 1892. That's when President Benjamin Harrison declared a national celebration on the 400th anniversary of Columbus' arrival to calm tensions among Italian Americans after the lynching of 11 Italian immigrants in New Orleans that same year.

During the 19th century and into the early 20th century, opposition arose over celebrating Columbus Day due to anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant sentiment.

It would take another 40 years before Congress approved a statute calling for Columbus Day to become a federal holiday. But it did not become one until 1971. 

As it turns out, the day still provokes much debate, although now it's over contention about the Italian explorer's legacy.

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Current battles

Where does that leave recognition of holidays like Indigenous Peoples Day and Election Day?

Fourteen states — Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin — and Washington, D.C., as well as more than 130 cities observe Indigenous Peoples Day instead of or along with Columbus Day. 

Indigenous Peoples Day has been celebrated by Native Americans and their allies to counter the honoring of a man who critics charge ushered in exploitation and enslavement.

The day's increasing popularity was not convincing to the angry residents who spoke out at a Board of Education meeting earlier this summer in the North Jersey town of Randolph. 

The speakers, many of them Italian Americans, took issue with the school board's vote in May to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day on the district calendar. The board followed up a few weeks later and removed all holiday names, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, to avoid offending any groups.

Those in opposition railed at the board's moves, accusing them of giving into "cancel culture," being anti-Columbus and anti-Italian, turning the town into a "nationwide embarrassment," going down "the road to communism" and not getting feedback from the community before voting on the changes to the calendar. They also called for the resignation of the school board. Their outcries received loud applause.

Some spoke in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day sharing the day with Columbus Day as a "peaceful recognition" of other cultures, and that the board's decision followed what other New Jersey towns have done. Those opposed interrupted them by booing and shouting.

Indigenous Peoples Day or Columbus Day?: 14 states celebrate, honor Native American histories and cultures

Local celebrations: Juneteenth holiday celebration is a first for Bergen County NAACP

Newark and Princeton are among the towns in the Garden State that observe Indigenous Peoples Day. The Montclair school district also observes Indigenous Peoples Day.

This, in a state where there are just over 19,000 Native Americans, according to the 2019 U.S Census American Community Survey. Across the U.S. there are 5.2 million Native Americans.

Aaron Payment, vice president of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C., said the spread of Indigenous Peoples Day across the nation warrants its becoming a federal holiday.

"The time is here, and has come, for us to celebrate Indigenous people. If we're moving in the direction of celebrating and undoing some of the social injustices, it's time to consider those celebrations," said Payment, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Payment cited as hope the heightened awareness of Native American issues through social justice movements brought about by Black Lives Matter and the police killing of George Floyd, and efforts to remove Indian mascots from sports teams.

"I think we're in an era right now where there's a lot of pushback and cancel culture, so I don't think it's automatic," he said. "But I do think history is on our side, and I think we will get to the point where we will embrace Indigenous Peoples Day for a national celebration."

Montclair State University associate dean and history professor Leslie Wilson sees Indigenous Peoples Day being recognized in more towns across the country in coming years. However, he is not sure if it will become a national holiday unless it is uncoupled from Columbus Day.

"There will have to be some kind of public awakening that could make it happen. There will be a lot of resistance," Wilson said. "If it was to happen, September would be the best month to move it because there not a lot of holidays to think about and you want it to happen sometime during the school year when kids are in school." 

As for Election Day, a bill is pending in Congress, the For the People Act, containing a package of reform measures that includes same-day voter registration and expansion of early voting. Moreover, it would make Election Day a federal holiday, as it is in nations such as Israel and South Korea.

The bill, also known as H.R.1, passed in the House, but there is a good chance it would be defeated in the Senate due to Republican opposition in the form of a filibuster, a procedure in which legislation is blocked by denying it the 60 votes needed for passage. No date has been set for it to come up for a vote. 

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But the viability of an Election Day holiday could shift to a more favorable probability if the electoral situation improves for Democrats. For supporters, the momentum of this summer's Juneteenth victory also is encouraging.

"Juneteenth shows what is possible" when it comes to gaining the same status for Election Day, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, said in a statement to and the USA TODAY Network.

"Congress’s swift enactment of it should not obscure the fact that it was decades in the making. Now that we have reached that mountaintop we will make a renewed push to finally make Election Day a federal holiday," Pascrell said.

Saladin Ambar, an associate professor at Rutgers University and the Eagleton Center on the American Governor, doesn't see Election Day following Juneteenth's victory.

"Part of what we have to think about is just the political environment that has made Juneteenth a federal holiday but also what may make Election Day less likely to become one," Ambar said.

While Juneteenth is an important recognition of the country's horrible slavery past, it does not have the political impact that Election Day would, Ambar said. That's because Election Day could potentially bring out more voters during an election that would affect a candidate who wants to suppress the vote, which is why there is opposition, he explained.

He hopes that Election Day eventually does have federal holiday designation. It would give citizens free time to vote, especially in places where restrictions have been put in place that have led to long lines, making voting more complicated.

"The United States should get in line with most of the advanced, industrialized, wealthy countries in the world and many of the developing countries that have Election Day as a federal holiday, a day off for people," Ambar said.

The Washington, D.C., think tank the Brookings Institution in a report last year observed that countries such as Australia, Uruguay and Belgium achieved voter turnout of nearly 90% during the 2000s. In the United States since 1965, when the Voting Rights Act was enacted, voter turnout has been around 57% in presidential elections and 41% in midterm elections.

Wilson, of Montclair State, also agrees that Election Day should be a federal holiday. He noted that opposition to Election Day as a federal holiday has been about not just politics, but also economics, in that federal holidays are paid days off.

"The argument in return has been about the cost, and nothing about democracy or democratic practices behind it," Wilson said. "There has always been that fight over why do we need to pay people basically to make them go out and vote."

Ricardo Kaulessar is a culture reporter for the USA TODAY Network's Atlantic Region How We Live team. For unlimited access to the most important news, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @ricardokaul 



U.S. Federal Holidays 2021: Full List and Calendar As Americans Get Extra Day of Holiday

2020 might have been a miserable year for many of us, but there is one small ray of light in 2021—one extra federal holiday!

A federal holiday is a date recognized by the federal government as a holiday. On these days, non-essential federal government offices close and stock market trading is usually suspended. Federal government employees are usually paid for the holiday, though this can be affected by government shutdowns as furloughed workers do not receive pay on holidays.

The history of federal holidays

Federal holidays were first created by Congress in 1870 for federal employees in Washington D.C. and were expanded to cover all federal employees 15 years later in 1885.

The four original holidays established were New Year's Day on January 1, Independence Day on July 4, Christmas Day on December 25 and Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday of November.

George Washington's Birthday, now commonly known as Presidents' Day, was made a federal holiday in 1879 but is oddly never held on his actual birthday. The father of the nation and first president was born on February 22, 1732. The federal holiday was moved from this fixed date in 1968 to become a floating holiday like Thanksgiving and observed on the third Monday in February. This will always fall between February 15-21, meaning it can never actually be held on the date of Washington's birth.

Memorial Day, a day commemorating the nation's war dead, became a holiday in 1888. Originally known as Decoration Day, this is also a floating holiday that is observed on the last Monday in May.

Labor Day was made a federal holiday in 1894 to honor American workers. The holiday is held on the first Monday in September.

Veterans Day, honoring all veterans of the U.S. armed forces, was first established as Armistice Day in 1938. It is always held on November 11 as it was on that date 20 years earlier that World War 1 had officially ended and an armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany.

Columbus Day was made a federal holiday in 1968 to honor the Italian explorer whose expeditions were the first European contact with much of the Americas. The floating holiday is observed on the second Monday in October.

The most recent federal holiday to be created was Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. Honoring the birthday of the civil rights leader, this holiday is similar to Washington's Birthday in that it is not actually held on the date the Baptist minister was born. MLK was born on January 15, 1929, but the floating holiday is instead held on the third Monday of January.

Why there is an extra day of holiday in 2021

There are 10 federal holidays every year, but in 2021 a federal holiday will be celebrated twice on two separate days. The reason—2021 is a rather unusual year in that many of the annual U.S. federal holiday dates fall on weekends, and thus the actual federal holiday has been shifted.

For example, July 4 falls on a Sunday in 2021 and so the Independence Day federal holiday will instead be on the following day, Monday July 5.

In the case of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, because they both fall on a Saturday, the federal holidays will instead be moved back one day to the preceding Friday. That means the Christmas Day federal holiday will in fact be on Christmas Eve and the New Year's Day federal holiday, which should have been on the first day of 2022, has been moved to the last day of 2021. This is why 2021 will have 11 federal holidays rather than the usual 10.

In addition, some federal employees will receive a 12th federal holiday in 2021, as Inauguration Day is also a federal holiday for those in the "Inauguration Day area." On January 20, when Joe Biden is due to be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, it will also be a holiday for federal employees who work in the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia.

Below is the list of U.S. Federal Holidays in 2021.

Friday, January 1New Year's Day
Monday, January 18Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
Wednesday, January 20Inauguration Day (for federal employees in the inauguration area)
Monday, February 15Washington's Birthday (Presidents' Day)
Monday, May 31Memorial Day
Monday, July 5Independence Day
Monday, September 6Labor Day
Monday, October 11Columbus Day
Thursday, November 11Veterans Day
Thursday, November 25Thanksgiving Day
Friday, December 24Christmas Day
Friday, December 31New Year's Day

Will we ever get an official 11th federal holiday?

A number of days have been proposed as federal holidays over the years, though none have been successful. Some of the most notable candidates are:


A holiday honoring the emancipation of enslaved peoples in America on June 19, 1865, the date is celebrated by millions across the U.S. every year.

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests over the police killing of George Floyd, there were renewed calls in some quarters for Juneteenth to be made a federal holiday. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) filed a bill to make it happen in June, but it was blocked by fellow GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin who said "I object to the...bill that hardworking taxpayers would have to foot in an era where we are $26.5 trillion in debt."

Native Americans' Day

Observed in some states such as California, there have been numerous petitions to have a national day honoring indigenous peoples to be held on a floating day in September, but no bills introduced to Congress have been successful.

Election Day

There have been numerous attempts to Election Day, always on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, to be made into a federal holiday in order to boost voter turnout when elections are held. The date is already a public holiday in some states including Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. A bill to make the date a legal public holiday on every even-numbered year was reintroduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2018, but was not enacted.

"We should be making it easier for people to vote, not harder. And I think on Election Day we should have a national holiday which says, 'you don't have to rush to vote.' People literally cannot get to the polling booth because it may close at 7 o'clock and they're working later. Let us make it as easy as we can," Sanders told CBS News at the time.

when was christmas declared a us national holiday


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