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Monday, February 20, is Presidents Day. Do we celebrate both Presidents’ Day and Washington’s birthday? Whose presidents are honored on Presidents’ Day? Just how old was George Washington when he was born? When exactly did Washington’s birthday fall, and why was it moved? Find the answers you seek and the truth behind some commonly held misconceptions about George Washington.

But why do we celebrate presidents rather than just Washington?
In a way, the fact that we celebrate George Washington’s farewell and the “beloved Constitution and union, as received from the Founders,” as Washington puts it in his Farewell Address, is reflected in the name of Presidents’ Day. Furthermore, by renaming the holiday “Presidents’ Day,” we can include another great president, Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is also in February (on the 12th).

The third Monday in February is now widely recognized as Presidents’ Day in many states and calendars. The three-day sales at stores are commonly referred to as “Presidents’ Day sales,” and this slang has helped popularize the term.

When does Presidents’ Day fall?
Each year, we celebrate Presidents Day on the third Monday of February. As a result, Presidents Day 2023 will fall on a Monday, February 20.

The History of Presidents’ Day
Months after Washington’s death, Americans began commemorating his birthday long before it was designated as a federal holiday. It wasn’t until President Rutherford B. Hayes’ administration in 1879 that the 22nd of February, Washington’s birthday, was officially recognized as a federal holiday.

Even into the 20th century, Washington’s birthday was traditionally observed on February 22. To “provide uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays,” Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law in 1968. Congress hoped to “bring substantial benefits to both the spiritual and economic lives of the nation” by mandating more three-day weekends.

Do Americans get a day off for Presidents Day?
The birthday of George Washington is one of the eleven federal holidays that Congress has designated as permanent today. The annual reading of George Washington’s Farewell Address by a U.S. senator during a legislative session is a cherished tradition that dates back decades.