22 Facts About President's Day
February 21, 2022
Fun fact, President’s Day doesn’t fall on any one president’s birthday. Read these 22 facts from History.com to find out more!
- Fun fact above.
- Originally celebrated on 2/22 in honor of George Washington’s birthday, hence the 22 facts listed here.
- If it was still celebrated on his birthday, the holiday would’ve occurred on 2/22/22 this year.
- Began in 1800, the year after Washington passed away, but didn’t become a federal holiday until 1879.
- President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law.
- Initially only celebrated in Washington, D.C.
- Expanded to entire country in 1885.
- First holiday dedicated to celebrating the life of an individual American.
- Moved to 3rd Monday in February as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, following the 1971 executive order from President Richard M. Nixon.
- The purpose of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was to celebrate several federal holidays (like Columbus Day and Memorial Day) on predetermined Mondays, versus specific dates.
- The belief behind the holiday began to shift towards celebrating the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and George Washington which are February 12th and February 22nd.
- Holiday has since converted to commemorate all presidents of the United States.
- President’s Day sales are now advertised around the country.
- There have been efforts to restore the original holiday intended to commemorate Washington and Lincoln but have failed.
- In addition to banks and schools, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ are closed for trading on President’s Day.
- Patriotic celebrations and re-enactments are held much like Independence Day.
- On February 22, 1932, the Purple Heart was re-instated which was originally created by George Washington.
- On February 22, 1938, thousands of people attended mass in NYC to honor George Washington.
- Public schools in certain states are required to teach about the accomplishments of the presidents leading up to the holiday.
- Some states celebrate other historical figures in conjunction with Presidents on the holiday.
- Arkansas also celebrates civil rights activist Daisy Gatson Bates.
- Alabama also celebrates Thomas Jefferson.