Presidents day is kind of a funny holiday. Officially, it is still called Washington’s birthday.
George Washington was born on February 22nd and the day became an annual day of remembrance after his death in 1799. It became a federal holiday in 1879. Interestingly enough it only applied to the District of Columbia until 1885.
Washington’s birthday was celebrated as such by the entire country until the 1960’s when congress began to develop the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The idea behind this act was to move more federal holidays to Mondays in order to give workers long weekends rather than random days off. This moved the federal holiday to the third Monday in February.
And then it just gets messy. Not only is Washington’s Birthday/Presidents Day a federal holiday, but it is a state holiday as well. Therefore each state calls it something different (no really, go look at the Wikipedia page, every state has a different name for it, even if the difference is just an apostrophe).
Technically, the holiday is called Washington’s Birthday. It was never changed. Someone (Harold Stone Bridge Fischer of Compton, California) tried to get us ANOTHER and separate holiday called President’s Day on March 4th (the original inauguration day) but the senate voted against it, saying the holiday was too close to Washington and Lincoln’s Birthdays.
It was actually the advertising world that created “Presidents’ Day” as we know it. Lincoln’s birthday is still not a federal holiday, so it seems like a nice nod to the other culturally-declared top two presidents of all time.
If you want to learn more history from the internet, check out these links below.
Also check out this video by Central National Bank in Waco TX.