In the United States, Presidents’ Day is a popular American holiday celebrated the third Monday in February. This day is supposed to honor all of the American Presidents especially George Washington. The celebration of Washington’s Birthday runs concurrently with Presidents’ Day.
George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, according to the new style Gregorian calendar. But in the old-style Julian calendar, his birth date was February 11, 1731. While known as Presidents’ Day in about a dozen states, the official Federal holiday is called “Washington’s Birthday”. It is celebrated between February 15 and 21 each year.
The U. S. Congress enacted the Uniform Monday Holiday Act starting on January 1, 1971. This Act moved some holidays such as George Washington’s birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day from fixed days to Mondays. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, which is on January 15 came after the Act but is celebrated on the third Monday in January for the same reason.
The Uniform Monday Holiday Act was favored by government, big business, labor unions and marketers. The purpose was to give workers more three day weekends throughout the year which would be good for rest and relaxation, curb absenteeism and promote the needs of businesses. Once established, Presidents’ Day sales started to abound.
Not all Americans were happy with this, however, since there is no longer a holiday on George Washington’s actual birthday.
Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday is not an official federal holiday. It is celebrated on the state level and oftentimes combined with Presidents’ Day.
Rumor Has It …
… that there was a movement in Congress to call it “Residents’ Day” to honor all people in the nation, but this measure was quickly thwarted, contorted and retorted, purportedly because “regular people just aren’t famous enough.”