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History of Presidents' Day
So when did Americans first acknowledge our Presidents with their own day?
Presidents' Day dates back to our founding father and first President, George Washington. Washington was born on February 22, 1732. On his birthday in 1796, when Washington was in his last full year as president, the day became the holiday known as Washington's Birthday. However, Americans didn't observe this holiday until 1832, 100 years after his birth.
Abraham Lincoln was the next President to gain reverence similar to Washington. Born on February 12, 1809, Lincoln's birthday was first celebrated in 1865, the year after he was assassinated. Although his birthday was not honored as a federal holiday like Washington's, many states adopted it as a legal holiday.
In 1968, Congress passed legislation placing any federal holiday on a Monday, including Washington's birthday, to create a three-day weekend. In 1971, President Richard Nixon combined Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays into Presidents' Day. It would be celebrated on the third Monday in February, regardless of which day it fell on. Presidents' Day is now viewed as a holiday that pays tribute to both Washington and Lincoln, as well as all those who have served as president.
Presidents' Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February