Presidents Day


President's Day, also known as Washington's Birthday, is celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington (born on February 22nd), The first President of the United States.  Several States also have an official holiday on the same day.

Many Americans believe that this holiday is called "Presidents' Day," in honor of both Presidents Washington and Lincoln, whose birthdays are February 22nd and February 12th, respectively.  Federally, the holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February is officially called Washington's Birthday, not Presidents Day (although the latter term is used more often).

Washington was born on February 11th, 1731, in Julian calendar. In 1752, The Brittish Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar, moving the date ahead 11 days to the 22nd. George Washington was the first president of the United States and was integral in securing independence for the United States of America.

Many Americans celebrated Washington's Birthday way back in the 17th century while George Washington was still alive. In  1885 Chester Arthur signed the bill that made it an official federal holiday.  Traditionally, many celebrated and continue to celebrate Washington's Birthday with a variety of desserts made with cherries.

Starting February 22nd, 1888, Washington's Farewell Address has been read in the US Senate. While this does not happen on Presidents Day, it is an annual celebration of Washington's Birthday that stems from 1862 when the Address was read as a way to boost morale during the Civil War.

There was an attempt in 1968 to change the official name of the holiday to Presidents Day, but the suggestion was rejected by Congress, and the holiday remained officially Washington's Birthday. Many states choose to call their own celebration on this day "President's Day" anyway. In 1968, Congress did pass the Monday Holidays Act, which moved the official observance of Washington's birthday from February 22nd to the third Monday in February.

Abraham Lincoln's birthday is on February 12th. Even though many states celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday concurrently with Washington's birthday outside the old Confederacy., it never became a federally designated holiday. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States (1809 - d. 1865), most famous for signing the Emancipation Proclemation leading to the end of Slavery in America. 

In Massachusetts, the holiday is still called Washington’s Birthday but the day comemmorates Washington plus all of the presidents from Massachusetts (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge and John F. Kennedy).

Some parts of the United States celebrate the birthdays of Lincoln and Washington for an entire week. The New York City School District is closed this entire week.

The Third Monday in February can only occur between February 15th and February 21st. This means that the holiday is always after Lincoln's birthday and before Washington's birthday, without
ever coinciding with either.

The Third Monday in February is on...

February 18th, 2013
February 17th, 2014
February 16th, 2015
February 15th, 2016
February 20th, 2017
February 19th, 2018
February 18th, 2019
February 17th, 2020
February 15th, 2021

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