The Housing Chronicles Blog: Happy President’s Day from Housing Chronicles

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy President’s Day from Housing Chronicles

Did you know that Washington’s Birthday is still the official name designated to what many of us know as President’s Day? During the month of February, the birthday of two of our greatest Presidents 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 states can follow their own holidays how they see fit and many of them chose to also honor Lincoln, calling the celebration President’s Day.

It was in 1968 that the term President’s Day came up for legal consideration in the Congress but rejected, though the holiday was moved to fall between the two President’s birthdays. Again, in the 1980′s there was a resurgence of the term with advertisers which solidfied the holiday name in American culture. Today, few Americans prefer to call the holiday Washington’s Birthday in lieu of President’s Day. (Source:

Also, according to a story in the L.A. Times:

When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, many people surmised — incorrectly — that it was to jointly honor both the Father of His Country and the Great Emancipator…The Monday Holiday Act took effect in 1971. Along with moving Washington’s birthday, it created three-day holidays for Memorial Day, which had been celebrated May 30, and Veterans Day, which had been observed on Nov. 11…

As for “Washington’s Birthday,” about a decade ago some members of Congress tried to restore the name to its proper place in American discourse.

They introduced the “Washington-Lincoln Recognition Act of 2001,” which called on all federal officials and entities to refer to the day as Washington’s Birthday. It also called on the president to issue an annual proclamation recognizing the anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, and it urged Americans to observe the day with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

The bill never got out of committee.

Regardless of what you call it, enjoy the day off (if you have it off) and Happy President’s Day/Washington’s Birthday.

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