Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Presidents' Day?

Yesterday was a day off for most folks, indeed a federal holiday.  And we all think that it is Presidents' Day, jointly celebrating the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12) and George Washington (Feb. 22).  But it turns out that is not quite right.

According to a pretty interesting article at CNN's website, this holiday has always celebrated only George Washington's birthday.  It actually became a federal holiday in 1885, and was converted to the third Monday in February (i.e., yesterday) when Congress implemented the Monday Holidays Act in 1971.  But the decision was made to keep it as a Washington's birthday celebration, and not to include Lincoln at all.

So everyone may call it Presidents' Day, but it appears not to be so.

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