Details on State Legal Holiday Laws
The diversity of our country is reflected in the various holidays recognized by the individual states. While many holidays, including New Year's Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, are considered legal holidays in all states, others, such as Good Friday and Robert E. Lee's Birthday, are recognized in only a handful, while a few are particular to only one state, for example Alaska Day and Pioneer Day.
The recognition of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday has sparked a great deal of controversy. It is not recognized in every state, and in some of the states where it is recognized, it is not a paid holiday for state employees. And in a few states, though it is an official day of recognition, it is not a legal holiday. The most interesting variation on the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is in Louisiana, where it is one of six other days that are interchangeably recognized. Each year the governor is authorized to declare any two of these days as an official state holiday, except that every two years Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday must be one of the two days selected.
Due to the myriad local holidays in the states, only the major holidays are featured below for comparison.