What’s open on Presidents Day? From Costco to the U.S. Postal Service, here’s what’s open and closed.

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John F. Kennedy Library and Museum bringing history to life on Presidents’ Day


John F. Kennedy Library and Museum bringing history to life on Presidents’ Day

04:07

Presidents Day is celebrated in the U.S. on the third Monday of February, a day set aside to commemorate the birthdays of both President George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln. 

Over the years, the federal holiday has shifted into a commercial event, with many retailers offering sales on Presidents Day to tempt shoppers to open their wallets after the Christmas holidays. 

That occurred after Presidents Day was shifted permanently to the third Monday in February in the early 1970s, creating a permanent three-day weekend. As a result, sales campaigns soared, historian C. L. Arbelbide wrote in the National Archives’ Prologue magazine in 2004. 

“For advertisers, the Monday holiday change was the goose that laid the golden ‘promotional’ egg,” Arbelbide noted. “Using Labor Day marketing as a guide, three-day weekend sales were expanded to include the new Monday holidays.”

Here’s what to know about Presidents Day, which falls on February 19 this year, including what’s open and closed.

What is Presidents Day?

The official name of the Presidents Day holiday is Washington’s Birthday, created to mark George Washington’s Feb. 22, 1732 birthday. 

Over the years, the holiday has come to be known informally as Presidents Day. Arguments have been made to honor President Lincoln as well because his birthdate falls nearby, on February 12.

A small number of states, including Illinois, observe Lincoln’s birthday as a public holiday, according to the Library of Congress. And some commemorate both Lincoln and Washington on Presidents Day.

But on the federal level, the day is still officially Washington’s Birthday.

Is Presidents Day a federal holiday?

Yes, Presidents Day is one of 12 federal holidays celebrated in the United States.

Are stores open on Presidents Day?

Generally, yes. 

Retailers have transformed the holiday into a commercial bonanza, dangling sales to lure shoppers to their stores and websites. Presidents Day is especially known for sales on mattresses, furniture and other home goods, although retailers ranging from Amazon to Nike are offering sales today. 

To see some of the best sales found by CBS Essentials, click here.

Is Costco open on Presidents Day?

Costco shuts its doors on seven major holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

But the warehouse retailer is open on Presidents Day, as the February 19 holiday isn’t one of the seven Costco observes. 

Does the U.S. Postal Service deliver mail on Presidents Day?

Because Presidents Day is a federal holiday, the U.S. Postal Service is not delivering mail on February 19, nor will its retail locations be open for stamp purchases or other transactions.

Is the stock market open on Presidents Day?

The U.S. stock market is closed on Presidents Day, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. 

However, markets in other countries are open today, including in Europe and China. 

Are banks open on Presidents Day?

February 19 is also a holiday for the federal banking system, according to the Federal Reserve. Because of that, most major U.S. banks will close their retail branches on Monday, although ATMs and online banking will be available. 

— With reporting by the Associated Press.

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