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George Washington's Birthday

Guest clint

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With President's Day just passing and with most of DC still digging out of the snow, I thought about our country's first President George Washington. Did you know that his birthday is Feb. 22nd? To learn more about the man, go here.

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Guest Founding Father's Day

Top 10 Presidents' Day Facts

1. George Washington's Birthday is observed on the third Monday in February between February 15 and 21, even though he was born on February 22, 1732 according to the Gregorian calendar. He chose to adopt this specific date when the Gregorian calendar started being used English Colonies in 1752.


2. He was also born Feb. 11, 1731, based on the Julian calendar in use by the British Colonies at the time of his birth. He was born in Colonial Virginia.


3. Washington's Birthday was declared a "federal" holiday in 1879 by an act of Congress. He was the first American citizen to have a federal holiday commemorating his birthday. Martin Luther King is the only other individual to date. Columbus Day celebrates his arrival to the Americas.


4. In 1968, by an act of Congress, the Uniform Holidays Act was mad law; Congress amended the Federal Holiday Act of the United States Code, moving the observance of certain holidays to Mondays. Therefore, Washington’s Birth date of Feb. 11 (according to the Julian calendar), nor Feb. 22 (according to the Gregorian calendar, America's current calendar) will never fall on the third Monday in February between Feb. 15 and Feb. 21.


5. Because of this change, many people now refer to this holiday as "
President's Day
" and consider it a day to honor all American Presidents, but particularly Washington and Lincoln. Lincoln's birthday was a separate legal holiday in several states but was/is celebrated, along with the others', on
President's Day
. There has never been an official change in the name: it is still legally called the celebration of George Washington's birthday.


6. Legally, there are no real "national holidays" in the US because Congress only has the authority to create holidays for federal institutions, federal employees and for Washington, DC. Rather, there are federal holidays, state holidays and city holidays. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, President's Day is on the third Monday in the month of February. The majority of states call Washington's Birthday (aka
President's Day
) a "federal holiday," while others refer to it as "Washington's Birthday."


7. Since 1893, the U.S. Senate has honored Washington's Birthday by choosing one of its members to read George Washington's Farewell Address.


8. Four United States presidents were born in February: Ronald Reagan on February 6th, William Henry Harrison on February 9th, Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and George Washington on February 22nd. There are no other official holidays to celebrate any other Presidential birthdays.


9. In the United States, a federal holiday is a "public holiday" recognized by the United States government. Non-essential federal government offices are closed for the specific holiday. All federal employees are paid for the holiday; those who are required to work on the holiday will occasionally receive holiday pay in addition to their regular earnings. Often schools are closed making it a "three-day weekend." The original intent to make Monday holidays "family time" does not work so well in this day and age as some workers are forced to take a personal day or sick day to be home with their children, or pay someone to watch them if a relative is not available.


Presidents' Day
is widely used by companies to have a "President's Day Sale," usually over the weekend leading into, and including, that Monday. Due to the myriad factors regarding what exactly
President's Day
is, it's history and what it officially represents, many people cannot pin down precisely what it is the American people are celebrating in any detail. It has also been known to be President's Week and or Presidents' Week.

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