Uniform Monday Holiday Act

Uniform Monday Holiday Act

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act (Pub.L. 90-363) is an Act of Congress that amended the federal holiday provisions of the United States Code to establish the observance of certain holidays on Mondays. The Act was signed into law on June 28, 1968 and took effect on January 1, 1971.[1]

The Act moved Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day from fixed dates to designated Mondays. The Act was designed to increase the number of three-day weekends for federal employees.[2] Veterans Day was removed from this list of always-on-Monday holidays when it was moved back to its traditional date of November 11, by act of Congress in 1975, effective 1978.

Contrary to popular perception, the Act did not officially establish "Presidents' Day", nor did it combine the observance of Lincoln's Birthday with Washington's Birthday. The perception stems from the fact that the act placed Washington's "birthday" in the week of February 15 to 21 and, since that week always falls between Lincoln's birthday (February 12) and Washington's (February 22), but never including either date, popular (but unofficial) references have given rise to the title, which recognizes both Presidents.[1][2]

The Monday holiday dates that this act established are:

  • Washington's Birthday (popularly—but unofficially—known as Presidents' Day): third Monday in February (formerly February 22)
  • Memorial Day: last Monday in May (formerly May 30)
  • Columbus Day: second Monday in October (formerly observed on October 12)
  • Veterans Day: fourth Monday in October (formerly November 11 and subsequently moved back to November 11 effective 1978[3])

Though the holiday was not in existence at the time, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (established 1983) is celebrated on the third Monday in January, instead of King's actual birth date, January 15, for the same reasons.

In a coincidence, the law relocated the date of Columbus Day to the same date as Thanksgiving in neighboring Canada, a holiday with which persons in the Northern United States would be familiar.

See also


  1. ^ a b Uniform Monday Holiday Act. National Archives and Records Administration. January 15, 1968.
  2. ^ a b Presidents Day. Urban Legends Reference Pages. Snopes.com. February 17, 2008.
  3. ^ United States Law Section 6103. Justia.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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