History UsefulNotes / AmericanHolidays

29th Oct '17 12:37:25 PM nombretomado
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* '''Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.''' (third Monday in January): A holiday created to honor civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the CivilRightsMovement in general. Often referred to simply as '''Martin Luther King Day'''. First observed as a Federal holiday in 1986, it took some time to gain acceptance nationwide. South Carolina became the last state to officially recognize the holiday in 2000. There aren't any standard traditions (although southern cities may hold a parade if they have a large Black community), but many people do charity and community service work on that day. The slogan "A Day On, Not a Day Off!" has been used to encourage people to treat the holiday as a "day of service."

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* '''Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.''' (third Monday in January): A holiday created to honor civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the CivilRightsMovement UsefulNotes/CivilRightsMovement in general. Often referred to simply as '''Martin Luther King Day'''. First observed as a Federal holiday in 1986, it took some time to gain acceptance nationwide. South Carolina became the last state to officially recognize the holiday in 2000. There aren't any standard traditions (although southern cities may hold a parade if they have a large Black community), but many people do charity and community service work on that day. The slogan "A Day On, Not a Day Off!" has been used to encourage people to treat the holiday as a "day of service."
23rd Oct '17 2:38:10 PM Dattix
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* '''Patriot Day''' (September 11): A day of remembrance for those who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. A moment of silence is held at 8:46 AM, and all flags are lowered to half-mast. Ironically, the people who first proposed designating September 11 "Patriot Day" were not themselves patriotic enough to know that the U.S. already had a "Patriots Day" -- April 19th. For this and other reasons, the name "Patriot Day" is scarcely used except on calendars. In common parlance, expect to hear "September 11th," "nine-eleven," or similar. Another big day for attention-seeking politicians and opinion jockeys.

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* '''Patriot Day''' (September 11): A day of remembrance for those who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. A moment of silence is held at 8:46 AM, AM [[note]]The moment when the first plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center[[/note]], and all flags are lowered to half-mast. Ironically, the people who first proposed designating September 11 "Patriot Day" were not themselves patriotic enough to know that the U.S. already had a "Patriots Day" -- April 19th. For this and other reasons, the name "Patriot Day" is scarcely used except on calendars. In common parlance, expect to hear "September 11th," "nine-eleven," or similar. Another big day for attention-seeking politicians and opinion jockeys.
16th Sep '17 4:36:33 PM nombretomado
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* '''Memorial Day''' (last Monday in May): A holiday for recognizing [[YanksWithTanks those soldiers]] who have died in service to the United States. All flags are lowered to half-mast. To most people it is also the unofficial start of summer. For a long time this day was also the official start of the Hollywood [[SummerBlockbuster summer movie season]], although many studios have taken to releasing their big summer movies earlier in May or even in April. The UsefulNotes/{{Indianapolis}} 500 is run over Memorial Day Weekend. Most Americans celebrate Memorial Day by holding picnics and barbeques, visiting memorials and graves of loved ones, and going to sporting events. Originally created to commemorate the end of the UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, Memorial Day grew out of various local "Decoration Days" which arose spontaneously in the wake of the catastrophe. The holiday used to be held on May 30; the move to the last Monday in May was fairly contentious among veterans.

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* '''Memorial Day''' (last Monday in May): A holiday for recognizing [[YanksWithTanks [[UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks those soldiers]] who have died in service to the United States. All flags are lowered to half-mast. To most people it is also the unofficial start of summer. For a long time this day was also the official start of the Hollywood [[SummerBlockbuster summer movie season]], although many studios have taken to releasing their big summer movies earlier in May or even in April. The UsefulNotes/{{Indianapolis}} 500 is run over Memorial Day Weekend. Most Americans celebrate Memorial Day by holding picnics and barbeques, visiting memorials and graves of loved ones, and going to sporting events. Originally created to commemorate the end of the UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, Memorial Day grew out of various local "Decoration Days" which arose spontaneously in the wake of the catastrophe. The holiday used to be held on May 30; the move to the last Monday in May was fairly contentious among veterans.
15th Sep '17 9:15:16 PM nombretomado
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* '''UsefulNotes/{{Christmas|InAmerica}}''' (December 25): Celebrating the birth of JesusChrist, it is the only religious holiday recognized by the federal government. But as can be seen from the wide variety of "[[TrueMeaningOfChristmas True Meanings of Christmas]]", it's not exclusively (or, arguably, even primarily) a religious holiday today. A 2008 Gallup poll revealed that 93% of Americans celebrate Christmas, while only 80% identify with a Christian belief system.

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* '''UsefulNotes/{{Christmas|InAmerica}}''' (December 25): Celebrating the birth of JesusChrist, UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}}, it is the only religious holiday recognized by the federal government. But as can be seen from the wide variety of "[[TrueMeaningOfChristmas True Meanings of Christmas]]", it's not exclusively (or, arguably, even primarily) a religious holiday today. A 2008 Gallup poll revealed that 93% of Americans celebrate Christmas, while only 80% identify with a Christian belief system.
5th Sep '17 12:42:04 PM GrammarNavi
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One aspect of federal holidays that may be confusing to foreigners (and, indeed, to many Americans at times) is that, under [[AmericanFederalism the federalist system]], the federal government has the power to set holidays ''only'' for the federal government itself; it cannot mandate states, municipalities, private corporations, etc., to observe these holidays.[[note]]More or less. There's a good legal argument that the federal government ''could'' do so under the interstate commerce power, especially if you buy the "living document" theory of constitutional interpretation that would have us understand the Commerce Clause as an old-fashioned way of saying that the federal government has the power to regulate the national economy. However, even if you buy this argument, the federal government has never considered imposition of its holiday schedule to be of sufficient importance to actually bother. This argument does, however, provide the legal ammunition for people who say everyone should have Election Day as a mandated day off.[[/note]] Indeed, it's fairly common for other holiday schedules to diverge from the federal schedule. Columbus Day and Veterans Day are the most likely not to be observed by other entities, which sometimes swap them with other dates, particularly the day after Thanksgiving.

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One aspect of federal holidays that may be confusing to foreigners (and, indeed, to many Americans at times) is that, under [[AmericanFederalism [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFederalism the federalist system]], the federal government has the power to set holidays ''only'' for the federal government itself; it cannot mandate states, municipalities, private corporations, etc., to observe these holidays.[[note]]More or less. There's a good legal argument that the federal government ''could'' do so under the interstate commerce power, especially if you buy the "living document" theory of constitutional interpretation that would have us understand the Commerce Clause as an old-fashioned way of saying that the federal government has the power to regulate the national economy. However, even if you buy this argument, the federal government has never considered imposition of its holiday schedule to be of sufficient importance to actually bother. This argument does, however, provide the legal ammunition for people who say everyone should have Election Day as a mandated day off.[[/note]] Indeed, it's fairly common for other holiday schedules to diverge from the federal schedule. Columbus Day and Veterans Day are the most likely not to be observed by other entities, which sometimes swap them with other dates, particularly the day after Thanksgiving.
12th Aug '16 8:16:10 PM nombretomado
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* '''Homecoming''' (date varies): A local [[strike:fundraiser]] holiday found in mainly in college towns, usually commemorated with reunions, a football game, and a parade, and with [[AnimalHouse Toga Parties]] back in TheSeventies.

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* '''Homecoming''' (date varies): A local [[strike:fundraiser]] holiday found in mainly in college towns, usually commemorated with reunions, a football game, and a parade, and with [[AnimalHouse [[Film/AnimalHouse Toga Parties]] back in TheSeventies.
23rd Apr '16 7:05:22 PM LtFedora
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* '''Armed Forces Day''' (May 21) pretty much exactly what it says on the tin; one of a trio of military holidays, Armed Forces Day celebrates those currently serving as Veterans day celebrates veterans and Memorial Day commemorates the dead. Not a big popular holiday but celebrated by the Military with open houses and air shows.

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* '''Armed Forces Day''' (May 21) pretty much exactly what it says on the tin; one of a trio of military holidays, Armed Forces Day celebrates those currently serving as Veterans day Day celebrates veterans and Memorial Day commemorates the dead. Not a big popular holiday but celebrated by the Military with open houses and air shows.
23rd Mar '16 7:26:25 PM karstovich2
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* '''Inauguration Day''' (January 20): The day that the new President, elected the previous November (or the old President, reelected the previous November), is sworn in. Happens, of course, only every 4 years. Not exactly a holiday in the ordinary sense of the word and only formally observed as a holiday in UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC and the immediate suburbs, mainly in order to relieve the congestion that goes along with the event. In 2013, Inauguration Day happened to coincide with the Federal Martin Luther King Day holiday, which simplified things.

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* '''Inauguration Day''' (January 20): The day that the new President, elected the previous November (or the old President, reelected the previous November), is sworn in. Happens, of course, only every 4 years. Not exactly a holiday in the ordinary sense of the word and only formally observed as a holiday in UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC and the immediate suburbs, mainly in order to relieve the congestion that goes along with the event. In 2013, Inauguration Day happened to coincide with the Federal Martin Luther King Day holiday, which simplified things.things; the significance of the fact that the President being inaugurated was UsefulNotes/BarackObama (for his second term) was lost on no one.
23rd Mar '16 7:19:36 PM karstovich2
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* '''Good Friday''' and '''Easter Sunday''' (date varies; usually March or April): One of the most important times of the year for most Christians, the other being Christmas. The ''other'' holiday where everyone, even lapsed Christians, goes to church. The holidays celebrate, respectively, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Easter also marks the end of Lent. Many businesses are closed on one or both days, and schools typically take an extended break around this time. Also, if a state government has a holiday schedule different from the federal list above, this is probably where the variation will occur. {{Creator/ABC}} has aired Creator/CecilBDeMille[='s=] ''Film/TheTenCommandments'' on or around Easter every year since 1973, except for 1999 when they received huge complaints for failing to air it.

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* '''Good Friday''' and '''Easter Sunday''' (date varies; usually March or April): One of the most important times of the year for most Christians, the other being Christmas. The ''other'' holiday where everyone, even lapsed Christians, goes to church. The holidays celebrate, respectively, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Easter also marks the end of Lent. Many businesses are closed on one or both days, and schools typically take an extended break around this time. Also, if a state government has a holiday schedule different from the federal list above, this is probably where the variation will occur.occur; try to avoid coming to a state court or agency with an "emergency" matter on the Thursday before Good Friday, everyone in the building will probably hate you for it unless it really is a must-be-dealt-with-today-or-people-will-be-seriously-hurt emergency. {{Creator/ABC}} has aired Creator/CecilBDeMille[='s=] ''Film/TheTenCommandments'' on or around Easter every year since 1973, except for 1999 when they received huge complaints for failing to air it.
23rd Mar '16 7:17:04 PM karstovich2
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* '''Good Friday''' and '''Easter Sunday''' (date varies; usually March or April): One of the most important times of the year for most Christians, the other being Christmas. The ''other'' holiday where everyone, even lapsed Christians, goes to church. The holidays celebrate, respectively, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Easter also marks the end of Lent. Many businesses are closed on one or both days, and schools typically take an extended break around this time. {{Creator/ABC}} has aired Creator/CecilBDeMille[='s=] ''Film/TheTenCommandments'' on or around Easter every year since 1973, except for 1999 when they received huge complaints for failing to air it.

to:

* '''Good Friday''' and '''Easter Sunday''' (date varies; usually March or April): One of the most important times of the year for most Christians, the other being Christmas. The ''other'' holiday where everyone, even lapsed Christians, goes to church. The holidays celebrate, respectively, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Easter also marks the end of Lent. Many businesses are closed on one or both days, and schools typically take an extended break around this time. Also, if a state government has a holiday schedule different from the federal list above, this is probably where the variation will occur. {{Creator/ABC}} has aired Creator/CecilBDeMille[='s=] ''Film/TheTenCommandments'' on or around Easter every year since 1973, except for 1999 when they received huge complaints for failing to air it.
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