The United States will observe a federal holiday Wednesday in honor of the late George H.W. Bush, America’s 41st president, who passed away on November 30 at age 94.
President Donald Trump issued an executive order appointing December 5 as a national day of mourning. On the same day, all living former presidents — including Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and Bush’s son George W. Bush — are expected to attend a memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.
If you’re interested in watching televised coverage of the funeral services Wednesday, read Emily Stewart’s piece on how to do so and what to expect.
National days of mourning are a rare occurrence, mostly recognizing former commanders in chief and involving remembrance events, so here’s how this one may affect you:
- Trump’s executive order closes down the federal government, so most federal employees are excused from work, unless they are involved on issues of national security or defense.
- All state and local offices and agencies are due to remain open. In some select states — like Maine, where the Bush family has a summer home, and Texas, the former president’s home state — the respective governors have ordered for state offices, agencies, and departments to shut down Wednesday.
- The US Postal Service will not deliver mail today, and all USPS locations will be closed. Some limited package deliveries are still scheduled, though, ahead of the busy holiday season.
- Major US stock markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, will be closed.
- Most private banks, however, will remain open. Though the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in DC will stay closed, Fed payments will function as usual. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced Monday it will operate during its regular hours too.
- National parks may have limited services or closures. For more information, go to the National Park Service website.
- All Social Security field offices and hearing offices will be closed Wednesday, but online services will still be offered.
- The National Passport Information Center — and all passport agencies and centers — are due to shut down for a day. Visitors must reschedule their December 5 meetings.
- Most military facilities are also closed, according to Alabama.com. Some essential personnel are still expected to go to work.
- The Supreme Court is postponing hearing arguments for a day. All other federal courts are to stay closed as well.
- The US House of Representatives and Senate have canceled and postponed Wednesday votes, respectively.