Americans are only just realizing the truth of how Presidents’ Day began

MILLIONS of Americans woke up Monday morning to a much-needed day off from work and school thanks to the federal holiday that falls during the third week of February each year. 

The holiday was originally established to honor the nation’s first president, George Washington, but it is referred to by a variety of names across the country.

Presidents’ Day was originally created as a federal holiday to celebrate the birthday of George WashingtonCredit: Getty
Certain states also celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on the third Monday of FebruaryCredit: Getty


The federal holiday was first established in 1885 to celebrate the birthday of Washington on February 22.

However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the holiday was restructured to recognize the past and current presidents of the nation.

As part of the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act championed by Senator Robert McClory, the law was created to observe certain public holidays on Mondays.

The act was also developed to provide federal employees with more three-day weekends.

Read More on Presidents’ Day

Senator McClory even coined the idea of remaining the holiday Presidents’ Day.

Washington’s birthday would be affected under the proposed law and be celebrated yearly on the third Monday of February – losing the essence of his birthday.

In 1971, the US officially began celebrating Washington’s birthday, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday – February 12 – and the remembrance of all presidents on the third Monday of February.

The legislation also moved Columbus Day, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day from their traditional designated dates.

During the early 2000s, Congress members took measures to restore and recognize Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays individually.

However, the proposed legislation failed to gain traction.

The federal holiday was restricted and renamed in 1971 to Presidents’ DayCredit: Getty


Here is a complete list of what different states call the federal holiday: 

Washington’s Birthday 

George Washington’s Day 

Lincoln/Washington Presidents’ Day

Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthdays

Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthdays

George Washington / Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday 

George Washington’s Birthday & Daisy Gatson Bates Day

George Washington’s Birthday / President’s Day

Washington’s Birthday/President’s Day

President’s Day


Presidents Day


Only nine states don’t observe the late February holiday, leaving many still in the office or schools on Monday. 

Surprisingly, Delaware – the first state to ratify the US Constitution – is one of the few. 

Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin all also do not recognize President’s Day as a public holiday. 

Additionally, Florida does not recognize President’s Day as a holiday in the state. 
However, the Florida Senate does list February 12, “Lincoln’s Birthday,” as a legal holiday.

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