Brief overview of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act

  • In the late 1960s,  Congress proposed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
  • This law began to shift several federal holidays from specific dates to a series of predetermined Mondays.
  • The idea was to create more three-day weekends for workers with the hope of reducing employee absenteeism.
  • At the time, the bill had widespread support from the private sector (which hoped it would boost retail sales) and labor unions.
  • The Act also included a provision to combine the celebration of Washington’s Birthday (Feb 22) with Abraham Lincoln’s (Feb 12). It was proposed to call this new day "President's Day".
  • The law passed in 1968 and officially took effect in 1971 (during the Nixon presidency).
  • Washington’s Birthday was then shifted from February 22 to the third Monday of February. Columbus Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day were also moved from their original days.
  • However, Veterans Day was moved back to its original Nov 11th date after many complaints.
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