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National Defense Transportation Day in the United States

National Defense Transportation Day, which occurs annually on the third Friday of May, remembers the contributions of people working in the United States' transport industry. It is part of National Transportation Week.

Is National Defense Transportation Day a Public Holiday?

National Defense Transportation Day is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

New York City Skyline Manhattan view from the Brooklyn Bridge motion blur from the cars in the rush hour

National Defense Transportation Day recognizes those who work in the transport industry and who contribute to the nation's wellbeing and defense.


What Do People Do?

National Defense Transportation Day recognizes the men and women who work in the transportation industry and who contribute to the nation’s well-being and defense. The day falls within National Transportation Week (May 11-17), which hosts a wide range of activities including: poster contests for schools; educational expos on transport; and programs with guest speakers.

Public Life

National Defense Transportation Day is an observance and is not a public holiday in the United States.


On May 16, 1957, Congress approved for the third Friday of May each year to be designated as National Defense Transportation Day. In 1962 Congress updated their request to include the whole week within which the Friday falls as National Transportation Week.

The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation to: designate the third Friday in May as National Defense Transportation Day; and urge people to observe the day by appropriate ceremonies that recognize the importance of the country’s transportation system and the maintenance of its facilities to serve the needs of the United States in times of peace and in national defense.

National Defense Transportation Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015FriMay 15National Defense Transportation DayObservance
2016FriMay 20National Defense Transportation DayObservance
2017FriMay 19National Defense Transportation DayObservance
2018FriMay 18National Defense Transportation DayObservance
2019FriMay 17National Defense Transportation DayObservance
2020FriMay 15National Defense Transportation DayObservance
2021FriMay 21National Defense Transportation DayObservance
2022FriMay 20National Defense Transportation DayObservance
2023FriMay 19National Defense Transportation DayObservance
2024FriMay 17National Defense Transportation DayObservance
2025FriMay 16National Defense Transportation DayObservance

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