Government Shutdown Closes Smithsonian Museums for Half Day

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After failure to pass a federal budget bill for FY 1985, a series of continuing resolutions (CR) were passed in early October 1984. In the absence of a CR, on October 4, government employees, including non-emergency Smithsonian staff, were furloughed by President Ronald Reagan for a half day. An emergency bill was passed on October 11, 1984, that would serve as a continuing resolution for all of 1985. The budget contained significant cuts to our request but was $22 million higher than the FY 1984 budget. Smithsonian museums were closed and the Department of the Interior closed the Washington Monument and National Parks.


  • Reagan, Ronald
  • Office of Protective Services
  • Guard Force
  • United States Congress
  • United States President (1981-1989 : Reagan)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • "Continuing resolution likely to be source of SI's fiscal '85 funding," The Torch, 84-11, November 1984, p. 1.
  • "A Washington 'Holiday,'" by Ronald Kessler, The Washington Post, Oct. 5, 1984, p. A1.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


October 4, 1984


  • Closings
  • Museums
  • Washington Monument (Washington, D.C.)


  • Washington Monument (Washington, D.C.)
  • Washington (D.C.)

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