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Entry from March 17, 2011
Bank Holiday

A “bank holiday” is a day when the bank is normally open (such as a weekday), but when it’s closed instead. Bank holidays in the United States usually occur on federal holidays, such as January 1st and July 4th.The United Kingdom’s Bank Holidays Act of 1871 popularized the “bank holiday” term.

An unexpected “bank holiday” also occurs when there is an emergency bank closure during a financial panic. This sense of “bank holiday” was used in Australia, when there was a five-day bank holiday in May 1893. During the Panic of 1907, California declared a one-day bank holiday on October 31, 1907. During the Great Depression, Michigan had an eight-day bank holiday in February 1933. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a four-day national bank holiday in March 1933.


Wikipedia: Bank holiday
A bank holiday is a public holiday in both the United Kingdom and Ireland. There is no automatic right to time off on these days, although the majority of the population not employed in essential services (e.g. utilities, fire, ambulance, police, health-care, public transport workers) receive them as holidays; those employed in essential services usually receive extra pay for working on these days. The first official bank holidays were the four days named in the Bank Holidays Act 1871, but today the term is colloquially used for public holidays which are not officially bank holidays, for example Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
bank holiday noun
Definition of BANK HOLIDAY
1British : legal holiday
2: a period when banks in general are closed often by government fiat
First Known Use of BANK HOLIDAY
1871

(Oxford English Dictionary)
bank holiday, n.
A day on which banks are legally closed, so as to afford a holiday to those employed in them. (Bills payable on these days are paid on the following day.) Also attrib.; and as adj., (as if) enjoying a bank holiday; festive.
1871 Act 34 Vict. xvii. (title) An Act to make provision for Bank Holidays.
1871 Act 34 Vict. xvii. 7 This act may be cited for all purposes as the Bank Holidays Act, 1871.
1879 R. Jefferies Wild Life 103 These two main fairs are the Bank Holidays of rural life.
1897 Westm. Gaz. 7 Aug. (advt.) Bank holiday attractions.
\
1 May 1893, New York (NY) Times, “Australia’s Worst Failure: The National Bank of Australia Closes its Doors,” pg. 1:
With a view to affording time for the excitement to subside, the Victoria Government has proclaimed bank holidays for the next five days.

16 February 1933, New York (NY) Times, ‘The Michigan ‘Bank Holiday,’” pg. 18:
The proclamation by the Governor of Michigan of an eight-day “bank holiday” in that state was avowed issued “in view of the acute financial emergency,” in Detroit particularly.
(...)
Recourse to a “bank holiday,” a “bank moratorium,” is not, however, the unprecedented step that seems to have been imagined, Our own country set the example for that expedient in a somewhat spectacular way as long ago as the panic of 1907. Within a week of the crisis at New York, in October of that year, and the run on the New York trust companies, the Governors of Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and California declared a banking moratorium ranging from three to six days, with the “bank holiday” in California prescribed for one day, but renewed daily during the greater part of the two ensuing months.

5 March 1933, New York (NY) Times, pg. 25
EXCHANGES CLOSE
FOR BANK HOLIDAY
All Trading Is Suspended for
Third Time in History—
Entire Nation Affected.

As a result of the declaration of the two-day, bank holiday in this State, the New York Stock Exchange and all other security and commodity exchanges in New York City closed yesterday for the duration of the bank holiday. It was the third time in the history of the Stock Exchange that trading was suspended because of widespread unsettlement. The other two occasions were Sept. 18, 1873, during a panic, and July 31, 1914, when the World War began.

Google Books
The Banking Crisis:
The end of an epoch

By Marcus Nadler and Jules Irwin Bogen
New York, NY: Arno Press
1980, [©1933]
Pg. 201:
CHRONOLOGY OF THE BANKING PANIC (1933—ed.)
February 14—Michigan eight-day bank holiday decreed by Governor Comstock.
(...)
March 2—Seven additional states in the West decree bank holidays.
(...)
March 5—President Roosevelt decrees four-day bank holiday and embargo on gold shipments.

Google Books
Prelude to Panic:
The story of the bank holiday

By Lawrence Sullivan
Washington, DC: Statesman Pr.
1936

Zero Hedge
Bank Holiday Imminent?
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2011 16:08 -0400
Reuters reports that Tokyo Stock Exchange firms are seeking market closure as the markets are too volatile. We agree. This means we may get the first post September 11 bank holiday as early as tonight.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Thursday, March 17, 2011 • Permalink


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