Thanksgiving Day: What’s Open and What’s Not

By Paul Riegler on 27 November 2013
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"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe

“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe

Tomorrow, Thursday, is Thanksgiving in the United States, a day of giving thanks for the harvest and the preceding year.  It is always observed on the fourth Thursday of November, a custom that dates back to the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, although Abraham Lincoln was the first to declare it a national holiday.   This year Thanksgiving overlaps with the first day of Hanukah, giving rise to the portmanteau neologism Thanksgivukkah.

Here’s what you need to know about what’s open and running in the United States – and what’s not – on Thursday.

GOVERNMENT OFFICES All Federal government offices are closed on Thursday, as will be almost all city and state offices.

POST OFFICE No regular mail delivery except for Express Mail. Regular service resumes on Friday.

BANKS Financial institutions have the option to close.  Almost all will.

SCHOOLS Closed on Thursday and Friday in almost all jurisdictions.

FINANCIAL MARKETS The nation’s stock and bond markets will be closed on Thursday.

TRANSPORTATION Most local transportation systems, such as buses, subways, and commuter rail systems, will operate on either Sunday or holiday schedules on Thursday with normal service on Friday.  Airports are open although most flyers will make it over the river and through the woods in advance of the holiday.  Expect traffic on the roads Thursday as people drive to grandmother’s house.


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