Presidents Day or Washington's Birthday?

Presidents Day or Washington's Birthday?

Posted by Hayley Adams on Feb 15th 2024

This year, Presidents’ Day falls on Monday, February 19, 2024. A few common questions that are asked this time of year are, which presidents do we celebrate on Presidents’ Day? Or why is it commonly referred to as “Presidents’ Day” when the observed federal holiday is officially called “Washington’s Birthday”?

Here is a little history lesson of this day to help clear up any confusion and the truth about a few common George Washington myths! P.S. Happy 292nd birthday Mr. George Washington!

President’s Day or Washington’s Birthday

Although the holiday is most often referred to as “Presidents’ Day,” the observed federal holiday is officially called “Washington’s Birthday.” Why is that?

When we refer to the holiday as Presidents’ Day, it allows us to reflect on not just the first president, but also the founding of our nation, its core values, and what Washington calls in his Farewell Address, the “beloved Constitution and union, as received from the Founders.” 

Additionally, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is in February, so by calling the holiday “Presidents’ Day,” we can include another remarkable president in our celebrations as well.

The History of Presidents Day

Historically, Americans began celebrating George Washington’s Birthday just months after his death, long before Congress declared it a federal holiday. It was not until 1879, under President Rutherford B. Hayes, that Washington’s Birthday became a legal holiday, to be observed on his birthday, February 22.

The holiday didn’t become popularly known as Presidents' Day until after it was moved to the 3rd Monday in February, which was part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and other figures, today Presidents' Day is viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, past and present.

Be sure to honor this day by proudly flying your American Flag!   

George Washington: Fact or Fiction?

  1. Legend has it, George Washington chopped down a cherry tree when he was 6 years old and, when confronted by his father, said, “I can not tell a lie. I did it with my hatchet.”Washington didn’t say this; he didn’t even chop down the tree! It was just a tale that was made up hoping to demonstrate the importance of honesty.
  2. Did Washington really wear a wig? Portraits might lead you to believe he did, but in fact, his hair was fairly long and fully natural. Curious about his natural hair color? Later in life, he went gray, but some say the portraits painted in his youth are quite clear: Washington was a redhead!
  3. Did he really have wooden dentures? Sorry, that too is just a tall tale. He did have dentures, but they were actually made of hippopotamus teeth that had been filed down to fit into Washington’s mouth.

More Important Days to Fly the American Flag

Aside from Mr. George Washington's Birthday, there are many days throughout the year that we as proud Americans should fly our American flags. Here is a quick guide to Days to Fly The Flag in 2024. Worried about missing any half staff days? Subscribe to our email and never miss an alert!