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US Holidays

2009 and 2010 US National Holidays

There are normally ten US national holidays each year, similar to the European bank holidays, four of them are set by date and the other six are set by day/month of year.

In addition, every fourth year there is Inauguration Day which takes place after the US presidential election. The following table shows the 2009 and 2010 US national holidays.

Date

 

2009

2010

New Years Day
(always January 1st)

 

Martin Luther King Day
(3rd Monday in January)

 

January 19

January 18

Inauguration Day
(after next US presidential election on January 20, 2009)

 

January 20

 

Presidents Day
(3rd Monday in February)

 

February 16

February 15

Armed Forces Day
(3rd Saturday in May)

 

May 16

May 15

Memorial Day
(last Monday in May)

 

May 25

May 31

Flag Day
(always June 14)

 

June 14

June 14

Independence Day
(always July 4)

 

July 4

July 4

Labor Day
(1st Monday in September)

 

September 7

September 6

Columbus Day
(2nd Monday in October)

 

October 12

October 11

Veterans Day
(always November 11)

 

November 11

November 11

Thanksgiving Day
(4th Thursday in November)

November 26

November 25

Christmas Day
(always December 25)

December 25

December 25

           

In addition to these US national holidays there is also Easter Sunday which falls, April 12 in 2009 and April 4 in 2010.

Some of these US national holidays are very much traditional American holidays.

Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Day commemorates the birthday of The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. who was an African-American clergyman who fought tirelessly for the civil rights of all Americans.

He was assassinated in 1968 and memorial services have marked his birthday on January 15th each year since then. In 1986 the date was moved to the third Monday in January.

Inauguration Day

The inauguration of the US president takes place every four years and used to be held on March 4. In 1937 at the beginning of Franklin Roosevelt’s second term it was switched to January 20.

Presidents Day

George Washington’s birthday (hero of the American War of Independence) used to be celebrated on February 22 each year and most states also celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (president during the Civil War) on February 12.

These two dates have been combined into a single Presidents Day which is now celebrated on the third Monday in February.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day which is held on the fourth Monday in May each year is one of two days commemorating Americas war dead (the other being Veterans Day). It was started as a commemoration to those who died during the American Civil War.

Independence Day

The Fourth of July or Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence (from the colonial rule of Great Britain) on July 4, 1776. Many Americans will fly the American flag outside their homes to commemorate Independence Day.

Labor Day

Labor Day honours Americas workers and is held on the first Monday in September. For most students it is the end of summer vacation (holiday) and the start of the next school year.

Columbus Day

Christopher Columbus landed in the New World on October 12, 1492. This US national holiday is celebrated on the second Monday in October.

Veterans Day

In Europe it is known as Armistice Day and originally commemorated the end of the Great War (First World War) in 1918, being on the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Like Memorial Day it now commemorates all Americas war dead.

Thanksgiving Day

The puritans landed in America in 1620 but many of them died during the coming winter. With the help of the local native American Indians who taught them how to plant various crops including corn, they reaped a good harvest the following fall (autumn) and as a result they gave thanks for their salvation; hence Thanksgiving Day which has been celebrated from 1621 to this day.

Traditionally on Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November), Americans will get together with their families and many will take the following day, the Friday, as holiday as well to make it a long weekend.

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