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National Missing Children's Day in the United States

National Missing Children's Day is an annual observation in the United States designed to highlight the problem of child abduction. It falls on May 25 - on that date in 1979, six-year-old New Yorker Ethan Patz disappeared on his way to school. National Missing Children's Day was first observed in 1983.

Is National Missing Children's Day a Public Holiday?

Although National Missing Children's Day is not a public holiday, businesses and schools may be closed because it falls on the same date as Memorial Day in 2020.

National Missing Children's Day raises awareness of the threat of child abduction.


What Do People Do?

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children annually holds events on and around National Missing Children's Day to raise awareness of the threat of child abduction, inform families about ways to keep their children safe and support victims' families. The center's initiative “Take 25” encourages parents, guardians and educators to take 25 minutes to talk to children about safety.

Public Life

National Missing Children's Day is a nation-wide observance in the United States but not a public holiday.


National Missing Children's Day was first observed in 1983, following a proclamation by U.S. president Ronald Reagan. In the years 1979 to 1981, a series of child abductions shocked the American public. Ethan Patz was six years old when he disappeard on his way to school on May 25, 1979. Although he was never found, the boy was legally declared dead in 2001. His case received a large amount of media attention and ultimately lead to the formation of the missing children's movement. National Missing Children's Day falls on the anniversary of his disappearance.

External Link

Learn more about the campaign “Take 25” and get involved!

National Missing Children's Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015MonMay 25National Missing Children's DayObservance
2016WedMay 25National Missing Children's DayObservance
2017ThuMay 25National Missing Children's DayObservance
2018FriMay 25National Missing Children's DayObservance
2019SatMay 25National Missing Children's DayObservance
2020MonMay 25National Missing Children's DayObservance
2021TueMay 25National Missing Children's DayObservance
2022WedMay 25National Missing Children's DayObservance
2023ThuMay 25National Missing Children's DayObservance
2024SatMay 25National Missing Children's DayObservance
2025SunMay 25National Missing Children's DayObservance

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