List of observances in the United States by presidential proclamation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Observances in the United States
Flag of the United States.svg
PublicFederal • Observance • SchoolHallmark
Observed byFederal government

U.S. law provides for the declaration of selected public observances by the President of the United States as designated by Congress or by the discretion of the President.[1] Generally the President will provide a statement about the purpose and significance of the observance, and call on the people of the United States to observe the day "with appropriate ceremonies and activities". These events are typically to honor or commemorate a public issue or social cause, ethnic group, historic event or noted individual. However, (with several exceptions) there is no requirement that government or business close on these days, and many members of the general public may not be aware that such holidays even exist. Holidays proclaimed in this way may be considered a U.S. "national observance", but it would be improper to refer to them as "federal holidays". Many of these observances designated by Congress are authorized under permanent law under Title 36, U.S. Code, in which cases the President is under obligation to issue an annual proclamation.

In addition to annual commemorative events, the President may proclaim a day or period designated for mourning or prayer after the death of noted officials including U.S. Presidents and Chief Justices of the United States or after major tragic events or disasters with serious casualties.[2]

The policy of issuing proclamations calling for the observance of special days or events is in 1 CFR Section 19.4, which allows for the responsibility for the preparation and presentation of proposed proclamations calling for the observance of special days, or events to the Director of Management and Budget to such agencies as deemed appropriate. Proposed proclamations shall be submitted at least 60 days in advance of the specified observance, with any approved commemorative proclamations transmitted to the President.[3]

Annual special days recognized by presidential proclamation[edit]

Bold text indicates a public holiday, on which most government agencies and major businesses are closed.

Annual special weeks recognized by presidential proclamation[edit]

Annual special months recognized by presidential proclamation[edit]

Defunct observances[edit]

The following observances have been mandated or authorized by Congress or the President, but are no longer proclaimed or observed on a regular basis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Straus, Jacob R. and Jared C. Nagel. Commemorative Days, Weeks, and Months: Background and Current Practice. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 2016.
  2. ^ Presidential Proclamations Project, University of Houston. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 14, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  3. ^ Code of Federal Regulations, Title 1, Section 19.4
  4. ^ Established by Congress 1983, first observed 1986.
  5. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Proclaims March 25, 2017, as Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy". White House. March 25, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  6. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Signs S. 305 into Law". The White House. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  7. ^ Wolf, Mackenzie (2017-10-16). "President Trump signs law declaring National Vietnam War Veterans Day". Military Times. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  8. ^ "Presidential Proclamation--Cesar Chavez Day". March 30, 2011.
  9. ^ "News Releases from NCMEC".
  10. ^ Memorial Day was made an official observance by Congress in 1950 on May 30, Uniform Holiday Law in 1968 set date as last Monday in May.
  11. ^ originally ended 2003, reinstated in 2009
  12. ^ "Proclamation 5696 -- 9 - 1 - 1 Emergency Number Day, 1987".
  13. ^ Observed on October 12 beginning 1934. Since 1971, observed on second Monday of October per Uniform Holiday Law
  14. ^ Observed as Armistice Day from 1919-54. Between 1971-78, observed on fourth Monday of October per Uniform Holiday Law
  15. ^ signed into observance by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.
  16. ^ "Ronald Reagan: Remarks on the Observance of National Philanthropy Day".
  17. ^ Oldest proclaimed observance in US history, dating back to 1863 with Abraham Lincoln.
  18. ^ Designated under Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-33)
  19. ^ Obama, B. (December 2, 2011). "International Day of Persons With Disabilities, 2011: a presidential document by the executive office of the president on 12/08/2011". Federal Register. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  20. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Proclaims April 15 through April 23, 2017, as National Park Week". White House. April 14, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  21. ^ "Presidential Proclamation -- Public Service Recognition Week, 2016". White House. April 29, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  22. ^ "Presidential Proclamation -- World Trade Week, 2016". White House. May 13, 2016. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  23. ^ "Presidential Proclamation -- National Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week, 2015". August 14, 2015.
  24. ^ "Presidential Proclamation--Mentoring Month". December 21, 2010.
  25. ^ "Presidential Proclamation--Stalking Awareness Month". December 21, 2010.
  26. ^ "Presidential Proclamation--National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month". December 22, 2010.
  27. ^ "January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month: Join the Fight | Homeland Security". Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  28. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Proclaims March 2018 as Irish-American Heritage Month". White House. February 28, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  29. ^ "Presidential Proclamation -- National Cancer Control Month, 2016". White House. March 31, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  30. ^ Observed beginning 2006, formerly "Jewish Heritage Week" (1980-2005).
  31. ^ Observed as Asian Pacific American Heritage Week until 1990.
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^ [2]
  34. ^ "Caribbean-American Heritage Month, 2006".
  35. ^ "An Investigation Into the Delicious Origins of Ice Cream". Daily Beast. July 13, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  36. ^ "NHLBI Sickle Cell Resources - NHLBI, NIH". Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  37. ^ "September is National Preparedness Month". Federal Emergency Management Agency. September 1, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  38. ^ "Barack Obama: Proclamation 8554—National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, 2010".
  39. ^ Observed as National Hispanic Heritage Week beginning in 1968, became a month-long event in 1989
  40. ^ National Information Literacy Awareness Month
  41. ^ "Presidential Proclamation -- National Entrepreneurship Month, 2012". November 1, 2012.
  42. ^ "Ronald Reagan: Proclamation 4908—Afghanistan Day".

External links[edit]