If that’s what you thought then you are actually correct well, kinda.  Washington, Was born on the 11th of February, in the Old Style calendar, but the 22nd on the New Style calendar.  The day celebrating him took place between, if your wondering what the old style vs new style is, well, its not real important to this article, but the new style is what we use and the new year starts on January 1st.  Anyway so why is it now Presidents day?  Well, let’s see if we can find out.  Most of us know that George Washington was Americas first elected President.  Originally titled Washingtons Birthday, it was originally celebrated on February 22nd, in 1879.  Originally it was only celebrated in government offices in Washington DC, but it expanded to all federal offices in 1885.  It was implemented by an Act of Congress.  It was the first federal holiday that honored an American Citizen.  So why is it celebrated on the wrong day?  Well, Washingtons birthday was moved to the 3rd Monday in February back on January 1, 1971 by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

The first time someone tried to turn it into Presidents Day was way back in 1951.  Harold Stonebridge Fischer from Compton, California.  He formed a committee called the “Presidents Day National Committee”.  Fischer thought that the office of the President should be honored, not just any one president.  He originally wanted March 4th, Inauguration Day to be Presidents Day, but that was overridden by the Senate Judiciary Committee (which had authority over national holidays). They felt that it was too close to Lincoln’s and Washington Birthdays.  They didn’t want 3 holidays so close together so they nixed it.  One of the original drafts of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act intended to rename Washingtons Birthday, Presidents Day in order to honor both Lincoln and Washington, It failed to rename it also, even thought the bill was signed into law in June of 1968.  So how exactly did it become Presidents Day? I mean we now know why its on the 3rd Monday of February, but when did the name change?  Technically it never officially did.  As with most things in today world, advertisers started pushing the term in the mid 1980’s, yup, thats where the name Presidents Day came in.  Through the years some states did officially rename Washingtons Birthday to Presidents Day, but it has never been federally changed.  So there you go.  That’s the short version of the Presidents Day story, there’s all kinds of observances and  such, but I’ll let you look into that yourself if you want.  So as always thanks for reading!

John

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