George Washington, the first U.S. President
George Washington, the first U.S. President
 
 
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. President
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. President
 
 
Two of the U.S. Presidents with birthdays<br> in February
Two of the U.S. Presidents with birthdays
in February
 
 
Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln carved in Mt. Rusmore
Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln carved in Mt. Rusmore
 
 
Presidents' Day sales ad
Presidents' Day sales ad
 
Presidents' Day
Topic(s):   Holidays & Celebrations
Quick Facts
Name: Presidents' Day, Washington's Birthday
Celebrated on: third Monday in February
Started: late 1700’s; Washington's birthday is a paid federal holiday since 1885.

There is no federal holiday called Presidents’ Day. It is really called Washington’s Birthday. It became a paid, federal holiday in 1885. At that time, it was celebrated on February 22. Lincoln’s birthday was never a federal holiday. That day was honored in many states, though.

In 1968, Congress passed a bill. It moved some holidays to Monday. That way people could have a long weekend instead of a day off in the middle of the week. Washington’s Birthday was one of those moved to Monday. Of course, that meant it would never fall on his actual birthday.

Some people wanted to rename the holiday, Presidents’ Day. It would honor Washington and Lincoln. (The new date falls between their birthdays.) Others wanted it to honor all Presidents. Congress did not do it. States made up their own holidays. Some honor certain Presidents. Some honor all Presidents. The holidays have different names.

All United States government offices are closed for Washington’s Birthday. That is now on the third Monday in February. Schools and businesses choose what they want to do. Many businesses have big sales. There is a lot of the advertising. Now most people think the holiday is really called Presidents’ Day.

There are different ways to spell the name of the holiday. Presidents’ Day is the best. Presidents Day is all right. President’s Day is not really right. That would refer to only one President.

Resource information

Encyclopedia Britannica. (n.d.). Presidents' Day (United States holiday). Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/858470/Presidents-Day

George Washington's Birthday. (n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/washington/

Himiak, L. (n.d.). Presidents' Day - What does it mean? Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://usparks.about.com/od/historicalparks/a/Presidents-Day.htm

Imbornoni, A. M. (n.d.). Presidents' Day or Washington's Birthday? Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://www.infoplease.com/spot/washington1.html

Merriam-Webster Online. (n.d.). Dictionary and Thesaurus. Presidents' day. Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/presidents'%20day

Presidents' Day. (n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://www.history.com/topics/presidents-day

Citation information

APA Style:        Presidents' Day. (2014, February). Retrieved from Facts4Me at http://www.facts4me.com

MLA Style:       "Presidents' Day." Facts4Me. Feb. 2014. http://www.facts4me.com.

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