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Presidents' Day

The Presidents of the United States

This U.S. holiday is designated as "Washington's Birthday" in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees.  It specifically honors George Washington, the first President of the United States.

The holiday was celebrated on Washington's actual birthday, February 22, from 1796 to 1970.

On January 1, 1971, the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, placing it between February 15 and 21 and never on Washington's actual birthday.
 

Mistaken Identity

Many Americans erroneously believe that the holiday is called "Presidents' Day" in honor of both Presidents Washington and Lincoln, whose birthdays are February 22 and February 12 respectively.

While most states have adopted the Washington's Birthday holiday, a dozen of them officially celebrate the day as Presidents' Day.

Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.



A number of the states that celebrate Washington's Birthday also recognize Lincoln's Birthday as a separate legal holiday.



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