Monday, February 15, 2010

an american history lesson

Today is President's Day which is a Federal holiday in America. Many schools, all banks, the Post Office, and other every day offices (like where I work) are closed today.

Did you know that "Washington's Birthday" is the official name for President's Day? During the month of February the birthday of two of our greatest President's takes place. Both George Washington who was born on Feb. 22nd and Abraham Lincoln born on Feb. 12th.

However, Washington's birthday has been publicly celebrated since he was in office, before Abraham Lincoln was even born. Much of the debate over the name of the holiday springs from the fact that state's can follow their own holidays how they see fit and many of them chose to also honor Lincoln, calling the celebration President's Day.

In 1968 Congress voted down the motion to make President's Day the official term for the holiday, but a resurgence of the term by advertisers in the 1980s solidified the name in American culture.

But on the books, it's still officially known as Washington's Birthday.

Weird, huh?


  1. Amanda Brice1:14 PM

    It's most definitely "Washington's Birthday" here in Alexandria, VA, home to GW himself. We host the world's largest (perhaps only?) Washington's Birthday parade within walkimng distance of my house.

    Honestly, I kinda forget that the holiday honors both Washington and Lincoln because it's all GW all the time here.

  2. I actually used to hear GW all the time, too... but it changed about 10 years ago.

    It's all about car sales up here. Nothing much else, to be honest, though Ahmed found a sale of a different kind today.


  3. Is it weird that I read your post like Alice Cooper was talking to me like he did in Wayne's World? Whenever I hear random facts anymore, I hear them in his voice.

  4. I remember celebrating both birthdays when I was in elementary school. Then one day they took both, smooshed them into one holiday, and made it for all the presidents. I'm glad they picked George's birthday, but I feel kinda sorry for Abe.

  5. What Chrissy said. It seems to be more about sales nowadays...LOL