Q&A on the News

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Q&A on the News

Q: I noticed that the stock market was open on Columbus Day. Why wasn’t it closed like many other institutions, such as banks and post offices, which are usually closed on holidays? And why aren’t banks closed on Good Friday, like the stock market?

—Lance DeLoach, Thomaston

A: Banks often follow the Federal Reserve System’s holiday schedule, not the New York Stock Exchange’s holiday schedule.

The Federal Reserve recognizes 10 holidays a year.

They are: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Washington’s Birthday (Presidents Day), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The New York Stock Exchange has followed its holiday schedule since 1885, a spokesman told Q&A on the News in an email.

“Our records show that some holiday closures were observed as far back as 1820,” he wrote.

It recognizes nine holidays.

The differences in its schedule: It’s closed Good Friday, but open Columbus Day and Veterans Day.

“The Fed was founded in 1913; we were founded way back in 1792, so our traditions are much older,” the spokesman wrote.

Q: If Donald Trump is elected, would he be the first president without either government or military experience?

—Steve Phenicie, Norcross

A: Every U.S. president has either served in the military or held a government office prior to being elected.

Herbert Hoover had never been elected to office prior to being elected president in 1928, but had been head of the U.S. Food Administration under President Woodrow Wilson and Secretary of Commerce under both Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge.

Of the 44 U.S. presidents, 31 have served in the military.

Andy Johnston with Fast Copy News Service wrote this column; Will Robinson contributed. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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