There’s no such thing as President’s Day.

George Washington

I don’t mean to alarm you, but your calendar is wrong.  There is no federal holiday called President’s Day. 

The third Monday in February is a federal holiday and your school and job may have given you the day off, but the real name of holiday is Washington’s Birthday.  States have been celebrating George Washington’s birthday (February 22) since 1885.  The push to change the holiday to celebrate all presidents started in 1960s at the same time that Uniform Monday Holiday Act legislation was gaining speed.  You may never have heard of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, but it gives you those Monday holidays so you can have a three day weekend.

What most people don’t know is that proposal to include President’s Day in the Uniform Monday Holiday Act failed and technically and legally this Monday you are still celebrating George Washington’s birthday.

You may ask why we don’t change laws like this that are out of sync with reality.  Is it worth the time and money that it would cost to change the law?  Are there other issues that our legislators are probably busy with that would take precedence?

Relax and enjoy the day off if you can and think of George Washington today.

Read more about it in Peter Grier’s article “Why you should stop calling today Presidents’ Day.”

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2 Responses to There’s no such thing as President’s Day.

  1. Amanda says:

    What I would like to see is a national day off for elections. I wonder if veterans, labor unions, those who celebrate civil rights symbolized by Martin Luther King Jr, or even those who celebrate George Washington and the U.S. Presidents would be willing to move up “their” day for the sake of equal opportunity to participation in voting?

    • Margaret Neubauer says:

      I like your idea Amanda of a national day off to vote to emphasize the right to vote instead of celebrating the ones we vote for. You would have to make your case to the State of Virginia. Apparently, they did not like the idea of making the President’s Day an official holiday since George Washington is a beloved Virginian.

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