After President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law on June 17, most nonessential public offices were closed on Friday, June 18 in observance of the holiday on Saturday, June 19.
However, the U.S. Post Office, an essential federal service, didn’t have the capacity to cease operations in such short notice, they said in a statement. VERIFY viewer Betty asked whether post offices are open on Juneteenth or the observed holiday on June 18.
Is the USPS open on June 18 and June 19 in 2021?
- The United States Postal Service
- VERIFY staff post office site reporting
Yes, USPS remained open as the agency couldn’t cease operations for 24-48 hours after the announcement of the observation of the holiday. The post office will operate on a normal schedule for June 18 and June 19, 2021.
WHAT WE FOUND
The Juneteenth holiday honors June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, when the last slaves in Texas learned they were free and slavery was fully abolished in the U.S.
On June 17, 2021, the United States Postal Service released a statement explaining that while it supports the new Juneteenth National Independence Act, which makes June 19 a federal holiday, it was not possible for the agency to cease operations to accommodate the observance for 2021.
“We are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure and our customers are relying on us to deliver our essential services,” the document explains.
USPS further said that closing down operations “without providing appropriate time” would create operational issues and be a disservice to the customers. For that reason, the post office said it would operate on a regular schedule this weekend.
However, there’s a possibility that the holiday could be added to the post office calendar in the future.
“The Postal Service will discuss future recognition of this significant new holiday with our national Unions, Management Associations, and other stakeholders, consistent with our collective bargaining and consultative obligations,” the document said.
The VERIFY team also mailed a package today at a location in Portland, Oregon, and yes, the post office was open and working.
More from VERIFY: Yes, Juneteenth is now a federal holiday