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Anonymous Coward
User ID: 376718
United States
02/14/2009 04:05 PM
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A History of "Presidents' Day"

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732.

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809.

This year, the holiday that's come to be known as "Presidents' Day" falls on February 16th - roughly halfway between the two.

That's why many people think the holiday is meant to celebrate the birthdays of both President Washington and President Lincoln.


According to legislation passed by Congress in 1968, the official name of the federal holiday that happens every year on the third Monday in February is "Washington's Birthday."

In fact, Mr. Lincoln's birthday has never been a federal holiday, although it is a state holiday in a number of states.

So how'd this whole "Presidents' Day" thing get started?

When the celebration of Mr. Washington's birthday was officially moved to the third Monday in February in 1971, a lot of people just assumed that it was a celebration of Mr. Lincoln's birthday as well.

That's why it has come to be known as "President's Day."

Mr. Washington's birthday first became an official federal holiday in 1885.

But it had been celebrated as an unofficial holiday since the late 1700s, when he was still our nation's first (and only) President.

And up until 1971, it was celebrated on his actual birthday - February 22nd.

Even though Mr. Lincoln's birthday has never been a federal holiday, some states made his birthday a holiday soon after he was assassinated in 1865.

And this year, Mr. Lincoln's birthday got a lot more attention than usual, because it was his 200th.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 516120
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02/14/2009 04:19 PM
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It's always been a bank and/or government holiday. Where have you been?