President’s Day… a bit of trivia

presidentialseal (10k image) According to the federal government, the holiday observed on the third Monday in February is officially Washington’s Birthday. But many Americans believe that this holiday is now called “Presidents’ Day,” in honor of both Presidents Washington and Lincoln, whose birthdays are Feb. 22 and Feb. 12, respectively.
In 1968, Congress passed the Monday Holidays Act, which moved the official observance of Washington’s birthday from Feb. 22 to the third Monday in February. Some reformers had wanted to change the name of the holiday as well, to Presidents’ Day, in honor of both Lincoln and Washington, but that proposal was rejected by Congress, and the holiday remained officially Washington’s Birthday.
In 1971, when the Act went into effect, President Nixon proclaimed the holiday as Presidents’ Day, to commemorate all past presidents, not just Lincoln and Washington. This idea was never intended or authorized by Congress; nevertheless, it gained a strong hold on the public consciousness.

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