Washington’s Birthday

Third Monday in February

Honors all past president of the US.
(Also called Presidents’ Day)

History and Old Observance

George Washington was born on Feb. 22, 1732 according to the calendar we now use. But according to the Old Style Calendar then in use, his birth date was Feb. 11. He led and encouraged his inexperienced armies against the British forces for 8 years until the colonies won their independence. He served as the first President of the US, 1789-97, and is affectionately called the father of his country.

Americans celebrated Washington’s birthday 1796, while he was still alive, some on the 11th and some on the 22nd.

Until 1971, Feb. 22 was observed as a federal public holiday. In addition, the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, (see Lincoln’s Birthday), president during the Civil War (1861-65), was observed as a public holiday in most states.

1971 President Richard Nixon declared that in order to honor all past presidents of the US, a single holiday, to be called Presidents’ Day, would be observed on the 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Modern Observance

Various communities observe the holiday by staging pageants and reenactments of important milestones in Washington’s life. The commercial side is that many stores run P-Day sales.