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Congress passed the Monday Holidays Act in 1968, to create more 3-day weekends by moving the official day of observation for many patriotic holidays to a Monday observation.

This legal act changed the US official observance of Washington's birthday from its actual day - February 22 - to the third Monday in February beginning in 1971.

Site Index Features : Holidays : Patriotic Holidays : Washington's Birthday, Lincoln's Birthday, Presidents Day

Washington taking charge of the army in 1775 at Cambridge Massachusetts

Presidents Washington and Lincoln

Although there was interest in changing the name to Presidents' Day, and making the holiday one to honor both Lincoln and Washington, Congress did not pass that legislation, so the US holiday we observance is officially known as Washington's Birthday.

George Washington, first US president of the United States - "the father of our country" - was born on February 22 according to modern calendars. Washington's birthday was declared a federal holiday and first celebrated during the final year of his presidency.

President Abraham Lincoln and son Thad.Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth US president, was born February 12. Lincoln's birthday was first commemorated in 1865, the year after his assassination, when both houses of Congress gathered for a memorial address.

President Lincoln's birthday was never officially declared a national holiday, although some (northern) states adopted and observed it as a legal holiday

So where did "Presidents" Day originate? The law made the first observation of the Monday holiday for Washington's birthday effective starting in 1971.

That year, President Nixon proclaimed the holiday Presidents' Day, to commemorate all past presidents, not just Washington and Lincoln -although this was not the intention or the law passed by Congress.

Washington's birthday and Presidents Day Links

So, although the federal holiday the US observes on the third Monday in February is officially Washington's birthday, the popular notion and name for the holiday has evolved into "Presidents" Day.

Presidents Washington and Lincoln printable worksheets.

George Washington printable worksheet writing paperPresident Abraham Lincoln printable worksheet

Lee Hansen
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