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Is it Washington’s Birthday, Lincoln’s Birthday or Presidents’ Day?

George Washington
Getty Images, photo by Holton Archive

Today, February 12, is the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. There was a time in our country we celebrated Lincoln’s birthday as a holiday on its own and George Washington’s birthday, February 22, also celebrated separately. In 1971 the holidays for Washington and Lincoln were moved to the third Monday of February, a day all presidents can be honored. The official day is known as Washington’s Birthday, but over the years it has been referred to as Presidents’ Day. The reason Washington is singled out is because his birthday was celebrated first in 1880 and made a federal holiday by law in 1885. When the law was changed to Presidents’ Day in 1971, it was legally named Washington’s Birthday and government policy always refers to holidays designated by law. So officially it is Washington’s Birthday that makes the holiday, but I doubt most people care about all of that, as long as they get a three-day weekend.

Factmonster.com

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