President's Day 2014: Is it Really George Washington's Birthday?
By Johnlee Varghese | February 17, 2014 11:59 PM EST
It’s President's Day, a time for big sales, a holiday but what is it for? Is it really George Washington's birthday or is it Abraham Lincoln's birthday?
It's quite strange, as President's Day 2014 - 17 February, is neither the birthday of Washington or Abe. In fact, Lincoln's birthday was on 12 February, while Washington's falls on 22 February.
But then what happened? Well, according to the US National Archives, the passage of Public Law 90-363 in 1968 moved the traditional observance of Washington's birthday from 22 February to the third Monday in February. Since Washington's birthday fell right after Lincoln's birthday (February 12), many states chose to combine the two events into President's Day, a day that is now used for honoring all former US Presidents.
The archive records note that "in 1968 Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law to 'provide uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays'. Therefore, by creating more 3-day weekends, Congress hoped to "bring substantial benefits to both the spiritual and economic life of the Nation."
Ironically, this means that the holiday would never be celebrated on Washington's actual birthday.
President’s Day to a large extend is celebrated as Washington’s birthday but some states in fact honor both Washington and Lincoln. However, there are also states that honor Washington and Thomas Jefferson but not Lincoln on President’s Day, while some states honor all Presidents.
Then there are states such as Illinois that has declared Lincoln’s birthday on 12 February as a state holiday and also observes the federal holiday.
In Virginia, Washington’s home state, the holiday is called George Washington’s Day. In Alabama, it is called “Washington and Jefferson Day” though Jefferson was born on 13 April.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kristen Stewart Moving On With Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence Dating Chris Martin – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Dating Reports: Jennifer Lawrence Vs Gwyneth Paltrow [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton Suffocated in Kensington Palace, Queen Elizabeth Reported War With The Duchess [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MTV Video Music Awards: Everything To Know [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Report Claims China & Taiwan Sell Human Meat
- Crocodile Attacks, Takes Man in Adelaide River; Wife Witnesses Tragedy
- Sex with the Dead: Ohio Man Admits Doing it with 100 Corpses
- Princess Diana's Gravesite Algae-Infested, Earl Spencer Reportedly To Blame
- Ebola Virus: NZ Health Officials Given 'Powers' to Stop Ships, Planes from Entering Border
- Saudi Arabia: Brothers Beheaded For Smuggling Marijuana Into The Kingdom
- ISIS Posts Graphic Beheading Video of US Journalist James Foley
- ISIS: More Journalists Beheading To Come After James Foley and Steven Sotloff [Video]
- After James Foley, ISIL Threatens to Behead Another American Journalist Steven Sotloff
- James Foley’s Executioner Has British Accent—A Chilling Reminder That ISIS Has Foreign Members