Is Thanksgiving Day a Recognized Holiday in All Fifty States?


Are you aware that Thanksgiving Day is legally recognized as a public holiday across all fifty states in the U.S.? It’s true!

Under 5 U.S.C. §6103, the federal government designates ten days as legal public holidays, including Thanksgiving. This federal statute ensures that Americans can enjoy their turkey feast with all the trimmings while commemorating this cherished tradition.

However, what you may not realize is that beyond federal law, most states have their own statutes acknowledging state legal holidays.

These state laws not only incorporate the major federal public holidays but also include unique days honoring significant figures in each state’s history. But how can you easily locate these holiday statutes? Enter the world of fifty-state surveys.

Fifty-state surveys are comprehensive reviews of state laws, typically focusing on statutes or regulations pertaining to specific legal topics. They are invaluable tools for researchers tasked with understanding the legal landscape across multiple jurisdictions or conducting comparative legal analysis.

Let’s delve into the process of conducting a fifty-state survey on state holiday statutes using various databases available to legal researchers.

HeinOnline’s Fifty-State Surveys

HeinOnline, a leading legal research platform, offers two databases containing fifty-state surveys: the National Survey of State Laws and Subject Compilations of State Laws.

The National Survey of State Laws provides an overview of sought-after and contentious legal topics in the U.S., complete with fifty-state surveys that list relevant state statutes and offer summaries of the law. Conveniently, this collection includes a comprehensive fifty-state survey on “Legal Holidays,” detailing statutory code citations and lists of recognized holidays.

The Subject Compilations of State Laws database is ideal for researchers seeking more abstract or specialized surveys. By conducting keyword searches, users can unearth numerous survey sources covering a wide range of topics, including legal holidays.

Westlaw Edge & Lexis Plus

Westlaw Edge and Lexis Plus, two prominent legal research platforms, also offer access to fifty-state surveys on statutes and regulations. While Westlaw Edge’s surveys are curated for complex legal research issues, Lexis Plus allows users to search within surveys using keywords.

Though specific holiday-related surveys may not always be readily available, both platforms empower researchers to construct customized surveys tailored to their needs.

National Conference of State Legislators

For those seeking free resources, the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) is an invaluable outlet. Offering fifty-state surveys on various topical areas, including legal holidays, the NCSL provides researchers with comprehensive insights into state legislation. Additionally, its searchable bill tracking feature enables users to monitor pending legislation nationwide.

In conclusion, a thorough examination of fifty-state surveys on legal holidays confirms that Thanksgiving Day enjoys statutory recognition as a legal holiday in all fifty states.

So, whether you’re in Maine or California, rest assured that Thanksgiving festivities are protected by state law.