President’s Day: What Is It? Everything you need to know about the federal holiday

President’s Day: What Is It? Everything you need to know about the federal holiday

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed an executive order designating the third Monday of February as Presidents Day. This year, Monday, February 19, is Presidents Day.

Presidents Day: What is it?

The first Presidents’ Day celebration was inspired by George Washington. After his death in 1799, people unofficially remembered him on his actual birthday, February 22. According to history, that day was declared a federal holiday by the District of Columbia in 1879, and in 1885, the entire country adopted it as a national holiday.

History and Significance

Presidents’ Day was first celebrated as a federal holiday in the 1880s, marking the birthday of President Washington, the first president of the United States and leader of the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

According to the State Department, the federal government still refers to the holiday as “Washington’s Birthday,” even though it was previously simply called that.

Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968, moving several federal holidays to Mondays. Some others opposed this, arguing that holidays should be observed on the days they should be observed. The purpose of the adjustment was to realign some holidays to give employees more long weekends throughout the year.

According to History, in 1971 a provision was added to the Uniform Holidays Act that combined the birthdays of Washington and Abraham Lincoln on February 12th. For many years, Americans have believed that this day was a day to honor both Presidents Washington and Lincoln, as it was a day to celebrate the new year.

Many people thought that because February 22nd was abolished, a new date between Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays might have been chosen to celebrate both.


Marketers quickly jumped at the chance to capitalize on his three-day weekend with promotions, with “President’s Day” sales being advertised at retailers across the country.

A day to celebrate leaders

Washington and Lincoln remain among the most prominent figures in American history, but Presidents’ Day now honors the contributions and lives of all of our nation’s most senior leaders. It is widely celebrated as a day of celebration. It’s an honor. Lawmakers opposed to this position argue that it diminishes the contributions of presidents like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln by combining them with less successful contributions.

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