Though some services were not affected by the shutdown - mail delivery, social security and Medicare benefits - many others were curtailed as most federal employees were ordered not to report to work.
The military's 1.4 million personnel remained on duty, but the House of Representatives had to pass a bill to ensure their pay cheques were delivered on time. The majority of the department of homeland security's employees continued working.
National parks and monuments were closed, including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the National Mall and the Statue of Liberty.
The National Zoo, like all Smithsonian museums, was also closed.
Federal air traffic controllers remained at work and the state department continued processing foreign applications for visas and US applications for passports, since the fees finance those services.
Embassies and consulates continued to provide services to American citizens.
Free school lunches for low-income students were not affected, but the WIC programme, which provides healthy food to low-income pregnant women, new mothers and children up to five, was left with no federal funding.
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
Original headline: Shutdown's Effects Are Temporary, So Far
Most Popular Stories
- Diplomatic, Financial Fix Sought for Ukraine Crisis
- 2 Million Long-term Jobless Have No Benefits
- Las Vegas Casino Wants 'Blackout Drunk' Gambler to Pony up $500,000
- Florida Insurers Reach Out to Hispanics
- Disney Lays Off 700 From Interactive Unit
- Last Call for Hispanic Health Care Signups
- Staples Closing Stores, Moving Online
- Stocks Get Green Light on Weekly Jobless Claims
- Costco Revenue Up, Profits Down in Q2
- Where Are the World's Most Expensive Cities?