National Defense Transportation Day
DateThird Friday in May
2021 dateMay 21  (2021-05-21)
2022 dateMay 20  (2022-05-20)
2023 dateMay 19  (2023-05-19)
2024 dateMay 17  (2024-05-17)

National Defense Transportation Day is a United States Federal Observance Day observed on the third Friday in May.

History and definition

The observance was first signed into law by President Eisenhower in 1957.[1][2] According to 36 U.S.C. § 120, on National Defense Transportation Day, the president urges "the people of the United States, including labor, management, users, and investors, in all communities served by the various forms of transportation to observe National Defense Transportation Day by appropriate ceremonies that will give complete recognition to the importance to each community and its people of the transportation system of the United States and the maintenance of the facilities of the system in the most modern state of adequacy to serve the needs of the United States in times of peace and in national defense."[3][4][5]

National Defense Transportation Week

National Defense Transportation Week is the week during which National Defense Transportation Day falls, and was established in 1962.[1][2]

Celebration and observance

The week during which the day falls is often observed by a wide range of activities including poster contests for schools, educational expositions on transport, and programs with guest speakers.[6]


On May 16, 1957, Congress designated the third Friday of May each year as National Defense Transportation Day. In 1962 Congress included the whole week within which the Friday falls as National Transportation Week.


  1. ^ a b "National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation Week, 2018". Federal Register. May 17, 2018. Retrieved Feb 24, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "National Defense Transportation Day in the USA 2019 - UK & US". National Awareness Days Events Calendar 2020 - UK & US. Dec 30, 2018. Retrieved Feb 24, 2020.
  3. ^ 36 U.S.C. § 120
  4. ^ Time and Date: National Defense Transportation Day[1]
  5. ^ White House, 2011, on National Defense Transportation Day[2]
  6. ^ Time and Date: National Defense Transportation Day[3]