Presidents Day (United States)

Presidents Day
United States
Federal (and most U.S. states)
Honors American Revolutionary War General, Chairman of Constitutional Convention, first U.S. President
Community, historical celebrations; honoring the veterans and purple heart recipients; Congressional recognition.
Lincoln's Birthday

Presidents Day (or Presidents' Day), is the common name for the federal holiday officially designated as Washington's Birthday, and both variants are among the official names of a number of coinciding state holidays. It is celebrated on the third Monday of February.

As the official title of the federal holiday, Washington's Birthday was originally implemented by the federal government in 1880 in the District of Columbia (20 Stat. 277) and expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices (23 Stat. 516). As the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen, the holiday was celebrated on Washington's actual birthday, February 22. January 1, 1971 the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. A draft of the Uniform Holidays Bill of 1968 would have renamed the holiday to Presidents' Day to honor both Washington and Lincoln, but when signed into law on June 28, 1968 simply moved Washington's Birthday.

In the late 1980s, with a push from advertisers (see detail below), the term Presidents Day began its public appearance. The theme has expanded the focus of the holiday to honor another President born in February, Abraham Lincoln, and often other Presidents of the United States. Although Lincoln's birthday, February 12, was never a federal holiday, approximately a dozen state governments have officially renamed their Washington's Birthday observances as "Presidents Day", "Washington and Lincoln Day", or other such designations. It is also interesting to note that "Presidents Day" is not always an all-inclusive term. In Massachusetts, while the state officially celebrates "Washington's Birthday," state law also prescribes that the governor issue an annual Presidents Day proclamation honoring the presidents that have come from Massachusetts: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge, and John F. Kennedy.[1] (Coolidge, the only one born outside of Massachusetts, spent his entire political career before the vice presidency there.) Alabama uniquely observes the day as "Washington and Jefferson Day," even though Jefferson's birthday was in April.[2] In Connecticut, while Presidents Day is a federal holiday, Abraham Lincoln's birthday is still a state holiday, falling on February 12 regardless of the day of the week.

In Washington's home state of Virginia the holiday is legally known as "George Washington Day."

Observance and traditions

Many American schools use the days leading up to Presidents Day to educate students about the history of the Presidents of the United States, especially Washington and Lincoln.

Enlarge picture
Flag and bunting mark Washington's Birthday in Toronto, Ontario (which is actually in Canada and not the United States).
Today, the February holiday has become well-known for being a day in which many stores hold sales. Until the late 1980s, corporate businesses were universally closed on this day, the way they are on (for example) Memorial Day or Christmas Day. With the late 1980s advertising push to rename the holiday, more and more businesses are staying open on the holiday each year, and, as on Veterans Day and Columbus Day, most delivery services outside of the Post Office now offer regular service on the day as well. Some public transit systems have also gone to regular schedules on the day. Various theories exist for this, one accepted reason being to make up for the growing trend of corporations to close in observance of the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. However, when reviewing the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill debate of 1968 in the Congressional Record, one notes that supporters of the Bill were intent on moving federal holidays to Mondays to promote business. Over time, as with many federal holidays, few Americans actually celebrate Presidents Day, and it is mainly known as a day off from work or school.

Consequently, some schools, which used to close for a single day for both Lincoln's and Washington's birthday, now often close for the entire week (beginning with the Monday holiday) as a "mid-winter recess". For example, the New York City school district began doing so in the late 1990s.

The federal holiday Washington's Birthday is intended to honor the accomplishments of the man who is known to his fellow citizens as "The Father of our Country". Celebrated for his patriotism, leadership, and statesmanship, the holiday also encourages the investigation of early colonial life, the importing of slavery from the Old World, and what it took to achieve a young country's independence in the midst of not all its citizens being free.

The holiday is also a tribute to the General who created the first military badge of merit for the common soldier. Revived on Washington's 200th birthday in 1932, the Purple Heart recognizes injuries received in battle. Like Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Washington's Birthday weekend offers another opportunity to honor the country's veterans.

Community celebrations often display a lengthy heritage. Historic Alexandria, Virginia, hosts a month-long tribute, including the longest running George Washington Birthday parade, while the community of Eustis, Florida, continues its annual "George Fest" celebration begun in 1902. At the George Washington Birthplace National Monument in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and at Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Virginia, visitors are treated to birthday celebrations throughout the federal holiday weekend and through February 22.

In Arkansas, the third Monday in February is "George Washington's Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day," an official state holiday.

In Alabama, the third Monday in February commemorates the birthdays of both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (who was born in April).[1]

In 2007, the country will celebrate both Washington's 275th birthday and the 75th anniversary of the rebirth of the Purple Heart medal.

Since 1862, there has been a tradition in the United States Senate that George Washington's Farewell Address [3] be read on his birthday. Citizens had asked that this be done in light of the approaching Civil War. The annual tradition continues with the reading of the address on or near Washington's Birthday. For many, the revisiting of Washington's Birthday is a strong reminder of the many contributions made by a great man to the early republic.


Because Presidents Day is not the official name of the federal holiday, there is variation in how it is rendered. Both Presidents Day and Presidents' Day are today common, and both are considered correct by dictionaries and usage manuals. Presidents' Day was once the predominant style, and it is still favored by the majority of significant authorities -- notably, The Chicago Manual of Style (followed by most book publishers and some magazines), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Webster's Third International Dictionary, and Garner's Modern American Usage. In recent years, as the use of attributive nouns (nouns acting as adjectives) has become more widespread, the popularity of Presidents Day has increased.[2] This style is favored by the Associated Press Stylebook (followed by most newspapers and some magazines) and the Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference.

Some have argued in online discussions on Wikipedia[3] that using an apostrophe in the name of the holiday is inappropriate, since the day does not "belong" to the presidents, but rather is a day set aside to honor them. But grammar manuals acknowledge that "in English the possessive case is used to show not only simple possession but also a variety of other relationships between the noun marked for possession and the noun that follows": the possessive may designate the subject or object of an action, a description or type, an attribute, a constituent part, an origin, or a measure or amount.[4] See also Genitive case.

President's Day is a misspelling when used with the intention of celebrating more than one individual; however, as an alternate rendering of "Washington's birthday," or as denominating the commemoration of the presidency as a singular institution, it is a proper spelling. Indeed, this spelling was considered for use as the official federal designation by Robert McClory, a congressman from Illinois who was tasked with getting the 1968 federal holiday reorganization bill through the House Judiciary Committee. Nonetheless, while Washington's Birthday was originally established to honor George Washington, the term Presidents Day was informally coined in a deliberate attempt to use the holiday to honor multiple presidents, and is virtually always used that way today.[5] Though President's Day is sometimes seen in print[4]--even sometimes on government Web sites[5]--this style is not endorsed by any major dictionary or usage authority.


1. ^ [6]
2. ^ [7]
3. ^
4. ^ [9]
5. ^ [10]

Presidents' Day may refer to:
  • Presidents' Day (Botswana), a holiday in Botswana on July 19
  • Presidents Day (United States), a federal holiday in the United States on the third Monday of February

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"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
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Lincoln's Birthday is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Illinois and some other states. It is observed on the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth on February 12, 1809.
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In the United States, a federal holiday is a holiday recognized by the United States Government. Non-essential federal government offices are closed. All federal employees are paid for the holiday; those who are required to work on the holiday receive wages for that day in addition
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A state holiday in the United States is one that is celebrated only within a U.S. state, and recognized by the state government, rather than celebrated nationally, and recognized by the U.S. federal government.
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George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1][2] was a central, critical figure in the founding of the United States of America, as well as the nation's first president (1789–1797).
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18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1850s  1860s  1870s  - 1880s -  1890s  1900s  1910s
1877 1878 1879 - 1880 - 1881 1882 1883

Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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Washington, D.C.

Nickname: DC, The District
Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All)
Location of Washington, D.C.
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18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1850s  1860s  1870s  - 1880s -  1890s  1900s  1910s
1882 1883 1884 - 1885 - 1886 1887 1888

Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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February 22 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


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The Uniform Monday Holiday Act (public law no. 90-363) is a United States law that amended the federal holiday provisions of the United States Code to establish the observance of certain holidays on Mondays.
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Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1861 until his death on April 15, 1865. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery, he won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was
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February 12 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Flag of Massachusetts Seal
''Nickname(s): Bay State State Bird = Black-capped Chickadee''
''Motto(s): Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (Latin: By the sword she seeks peace under liberty)''

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John Adams, Jr. (October 30,1735 – July 4, 1826) served as America's first Vice President (1789–1797) and as its second President (1797–1801). He was defeated for re-election in the "Revolution of 1800" by Thomas Jefferson.
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John Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) was a diplomat, politician, and the sixth President of the United States (March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829). His party affiliations were Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and
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John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. (July 4 1872 – January 5 1933), more commonly known as Calvin Coolidge, was the thirtieth President of the United States (1923–1929). He is often referred to as "Silent Cal".
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917–November 22, 1963), was the thirty-fifth President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.

After Kennedy's leadership as commander of the USS PT-109
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State of Connecticut

Flag of Connecticut Seal of Connecticut
Nickname(s): The Constitution State, The Nutmeg State[]
Motto(s): Qui transtulit sustinet[0]
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Commonwealth of Virginia

Flag of Virginia Seal
Nickname(s): Old Dominion, Mother of Presidents
Motto(s): Sic semper tyrannis

Official language(s) English

Capital Richmond
Largest city
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Sale may refer to:


  • Sale, Greater Manchester, England
  • Sale Urban District, a former local government district unit of Sale, Greater Manchester.

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Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include those who died in any war or military action.
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Jesus Christ
Church Theology
New Covenant Supersessionism
Apostles Kingdom Gospel
History of Christianity Timeline
Old Testament New Testament
Books Canon Apocrypha
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Veterans Day is an American holiday honoring military veterans. Both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states, it is celebrated on the same day as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the
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Día de la Raza in many Latin American countries, Discovery Day in The Bahamas, Hispanic Day in Spain, Día de las Culturas in Costa Rica and Día de la Resistencia Indígena in Venezuela. Also, Thanksgiving in Canada, which falls on the same date.
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United States Postal Service

Government agency
Founded 1776
Headquarters Washington, D.C.

Key people John E. Potter, Postmaster General
Industry Courier
Products First Class mail, Domestic Mail, Logistics
Revenue $72.
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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a United States holiday marking the birthdate of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday, January 15.
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City of New York
New York City at sunset

Nickname: The Big Apple, Gotham, The City that Never Sleeps
Location in the state of New York
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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1900s  1910s  1920s  - 1930s -  1940s  1950s  1960s
1929 1930 1931 - 1932 - 1933 1934 1935

Year 1932 (MCMXXXII
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