Martin Luther King Day 2021

Are post offices open and will mail be delivered on Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, 18 January is a federal holiday, so many national institutions will close including banks and the USPS.

Are post offices open and will mail be delivered on Martin Luther King Jr. Day?
Brian Snyder REUTERS

On Monday, 18 January the U.S. Postal Service will observe the federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. All brick-and-mortar post offices will be closed and there will be no mail delivery or retail service on this day, but packages will be delivered.

However, some post office services remain available online 24/7, including on holidays. With a USPS.com account, you can order stamps, print shipping labels, order boxes and other mail supplies, and request package pickups.

USPO post offices closed: use blue boxes to be sent next day

The US Post Office is encouraging customers to drop their mail in blue street collection boxes, so they can be processed early the next day while the USPS observes Martin Luther King Day.

“We want to advise anyone with stamped or metered mail ready for delivery to drop this mail into a blue collection box instead of waiting to do so the following day,” said a Wisconsin & Illinois Dept. Manager; “This also applies to our business customers, many who will still be open during the holiday. We want to get a quick start on processing their mail.”

And for customers depositing mail on Tuesday, 19 January, USPS advises they drop their mail no later than 3 p.m. in order to get it processed sooner. “On your way to work or school is the best time to drop the mail at the Post Office or blue collection box...the earlier in the day we receive the mail, the sooner we can send it on its way to its destination.”

Post Offices will reopen on Tuesday, 19 January with full mail delivery and retail service. Use the U.S. Postal Service's P.O. Locator or call 800-ASK-USPS (800-275-8777) to check on your local post office.

Are other mail and courier services open on MLK Day?

Other major delivery companies have their own schedules and operate partially or in full on some holidays. FedEx and UPS are delivering on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (although some specialized services may be modified due to the U.S. Postal Service holiday) and UPS Store and FedEx Office retail locations will be open.

Why is Martin Luther King Day celebrated?

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929 into a country divided by racial segregation in many states. He was the son of early civil rights activist Martin Luther King Sr. and participated in protest movements from a young age. He grew to national prominence in 1955 when he led the Montgomery bus boycott after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus for a white man. He made perhaps the single most famous speech in modern history in 1963 in declaring; “I Have a Dream”, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington.

MLK Day is one of only two official federal holidays to take place on someone’s birthday, with the other being the observance of George Washington’s birthday. King was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King Day began in some cities and states as early as 1971, but it wasn’t until 1986 that President Ronald Reagan made it a federal holiday.

Though most federal buildings like banks and public libraries will be closed on MLK day 2021, many private businesses choose to stay open every year.

National Parks are offering free entry this Martin Luther King Jr Day.

Other Post Office holidays in 2021:

  • Washington's Birthday: February 15
  • Memorial Day: May 31
  • Independence Day: July 4
  • Labor Day: September 6
  • Columbus Day: October 11
  • Veterans Day: November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day: November 25
  • Christmas Day: December 25