‘Presidents Day’ Technically Doesn’t Exist
The holiday that is commonly known as Presidents Day is traditionally a day set aside to honor the birthdays of two of the United States' most prominent presidents, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln, who both had February birthdays.
However, the holiday of 'Presidents Day' technically does not exist. As far as the federal government is concerned, the day is still called Washington's Birthday.
So where how did we go from calling the day Washington's Birthday to Presidents Day?
Washington's Birthday, February 22, became a federal holiday in 1879. Many years later, several states began observing Lincoln's birthday on February 12, but it never became a federal holiday.
Fast forward to 1968 when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This was an act to move federal holidays from a specific calendar date to a specific day of the week. In other words, an effort to clean up the calendar.
This act moved several federal holidays, such as Washington's Birthday and Labor Day to Monday and thus creating the three-day holiday weekends that everyone loves.
As Congress was discussing the Act, they debated on changing the name of Washington's Birthday to Presidents Day in honor of both Washington and Lincoln. However, Congress rejected the name change.
In the years since Washington's Birthday has become commonly known as Presidents Day and has become a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents.
Washinton's Birthday, aka Presidents Day, was moved to the third Monday of February.
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