Happy ... Presidents Day?
The actual federal holiday is called "Washington's Birthday," after the nation's first president, George Washington.
According to the Gregorian calendar, adopted by England and its colonies after Washington was born, his birth date was February 22, 1732. (The Julian calendar has him born on February 11.) He is viewed as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history and was also much adored during his lifetime.
It wasn't until 1885, though, that February 22 became designated a federal holiday to honor Washington.
In 1968, Congress debated whether to combine the two president's birthdays into one holiday, but decided against it. The legislative body passed the Monday Holidays Act that year, which said existing federal holidays would now be observed on Mondays to give government workers a long weekend.
comments powered by Disqus
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- Did Israel steal uranium from a town in Pennsylvania in the 1960s?
- Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to be published next year
- History Camp "unconference" returns for the second year in Boston
- History Department at Connecticut College deplores Facebook post on Palestinians
- Historians join other scholars in protesting Georgia's anti-gay legislation
- Homeland Security historian builds winning case against Salvadoran leader who oversaw crimes
- What Howard Zinn taught the students of Spelman College