Government Shutdown Closes Smithsonian for 6 Days

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After a budget impasse between President William Clinton and the United States Congress, the federal government was closed for six days, from Tuesday, November 14, to Sunday, November 19, 1995. A November 19th continuing resolution reopened the government, kept it funded at 75% of current levels, and paid federal employees for furlough days. Smithsonian non-essential staff were furloughed, and the museums and zoo were closed to the public from November 14-19. Security officers, building maintenance staff, zoo keepers and other essential employees remained on the job.


  • Clinton, Bill 1946-
  • Office of Protective Services
  • Guard Force
  • United States Congress
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • United States President (1993-2001 : Clinton)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • "Bracing for Furloughs and Locked Offices," by Don Van Natta, Jr., The New York Times, B10.
  • "A Narrow Accord," by Todd S. Purdum, The New York Times, Nov. 20, 1995, A1 and B8.
  • "SI Meets Furlough Challenges," by Jo Ann Webb, The Torch, 95-12, December 1995, 1-2.

Contact information

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


November 14-19, 1995


  • Closings
  • Zoo keepers
  • Museums


Washington (D.C.)

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