Memorial Day 2019 is less than a week away – it falls on May 27 this year. However, like most major holidays, sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s open and what’s not – and this includes banks.
Since Memorial Day is a federal holiday, most banks (and credit unions) are indeed closed. However, some will still be open – even if that means just the grocery store versions of the bank.
There’s actually a comprehensive list of the ones that will be open and closed this Memorial Day. Regardless though, if you think you’ll need to go to the bank on Memorial Day, it’s best to just call your specific branch sometime this week and ask them if they’ll be open on the holiday.
Additionally, if you need to, there are some banking options still available on Memorial Day. According to the same Banks.org article, “bank branch ATMs, toll-free support lines, online banking websites, and mobile banking apps will still be in operation on Memorial Day. This means you will be able to complete common tasks such as viewing your current balance, making a deposit, and withdrawing cash.” However, if you make any transactions on Memorial Day, keep in mind that they won’t be processed and finalized until the next day.
Memorial Day summary
Do you actually know what’s being celebrated on Memorial Day? Whether you do or you don’t, here’s a little reminder.
While Memorial Day is on May 27 this year, the date changes every year because it occurs on the last Monday of May. It’s a day set aside to celebrate, remember and honor the men and women who have died while serving in the Armed Forces.
According to history.com, “Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.” There’s also a national moment of remembrance that happens at 3 P.M. local time.
History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day has changed a lot since it was originally created. Declared by General John Logan in 1868, it was initially started to honor those who had died in the Civil War (which had ended just three years earlier in 1865).
By that point anyways, during the late 1860s, “Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers,” the history.com article said. For that reason, Memorial Day was also initially called Decoration Day.
According to the same history.com article, General Logan declared, “‘The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land’.” He chose May 30, because that wasn’t the anniversary of any specific battle.
Five years later, in 1873, New York became the first state to officially recognize the holiday. According to usmemorialday.org, “By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).”
Then, in 1968 – a year after General Logan first created the holiday – Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This went into effect in 1971 and instituted two things: Memorial Day is now a federal holiday, and Memorial Day is now the last Monday in May (to create a three-day weekend for federal workers).