Presidents Day: George Washington (sort of) has 2 birthdays. Why isn't it Florida holiday?

Feb. 20, 2023, is Presidents Day, 224 years after George Washington died.

Cheryl McCloud
Treasure Coast Newspapers
  • Congress proposed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to create more 3-day weekends for the nation's workers
  • George Washington's birthday was Feb. 22. Abraham Lincoln's birthday was Feb. 12
  • Presidents Day deals? Retailers and advertisers celebrate the three-day weekend with sale promotions

Looking forward to another three-day weekend? You don't have much longer to wait.

Presidents Day 2023 is coming up fast. The federal holiday is celebrated the third Monday of February. Whether you plan to rest, have some family time or take advantage of special sales, remember it'll be the last federal holiday until May.

Here are lots of facts and a little history trivia about the holiday and why we celebrate it.

Presidents Day 2023:When is Presidents Day 2023? Here's why we really celebrate the federal holiday

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When is Presidents Day in 2023?

Presidents Day will be on Feb. 20 this year. The holiday is celebrated on the third Monday of February every year.

When was Presidents Day first observed?

Following the death of George Washington in 1799, his Feb. 22 birthday became a day of remembrance.

Washington's Birthday became a legal holiday Jan. 31, 1879, when Congress added Feb. 22 to the list of holidays to be observed by federal employees in the District of Columbia. 

The date changed to the third Monday in February with the passage of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and officially took effect in 1971.

Does George Washington have two birthdays?

Does George Washington have two birthdays, Feb. 11 and Feb. 22? Not really, but sort of.

Washington was born in Virginia on Feb. 11, 1731, but that date was based on the Julian calendar.

In 1752, Britain and all its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, which moved his birth date to Feb. 22, 1732.

Is it Presidents Day or Washington's Birthday?

Neither Congress nor the president have ever stipulated that the name of the holiday observed as Washington's Birthday be changed to President's Day.

So why is it called Presidents Day? What about honoring Abraham Lincoln?

The shift from Washington’s Birthday to Presidents Day began in the late 1960s, when Congress proposed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers.

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act included a provision to combine the celebration of Washington’s birthday with that of Abraham Lincoln, which fell on Feb. 12. 

Retailers and advertisers celebrate the three-day weekend with sale promotions. It wasn't long before many Americans were thinking of Washington's Birthday as Presidents Day. In the early 2000s, almost half of the states across America had changed the holiday’s name to Presidents Day on their calendars.

Is it Presidents Day, President's Day or Presidents' Day?

AP Stylebook prefers Presidents Day, but Chicago Style uses Presidents' Day. Based on Google, folks are searching for it both ways. One thing is definite: it's Washington's Birthday on the federal calendar.

Is the holiday always on a Monday?

Washington's Birthday was celebrated on Feb. 22 until 1968. That's when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to "provide uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays."

By creating more three-day weekends, Congress hoped to "bring substantial benefits to both the spiritual and economic life of the Nation."

What is the Uniform Monday Holiday Act?

Signed by President Johnson, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act provides that three national holidays will be celebrated on a Monday:

  • Washington's Birthday on the third Monday in February.
  • Memorial Day on the last Monday in May.
  • Veterans Day on the fourth Monday in October.

"This will mean a great deal to our families and our children," Johnson said at the time. "It will enable families who live some distance apart to spend more time together. Americans will be able to travel farther and see more of this beautiful land of ours. They will be able to participate in a wider range of recreational and cultural activities."

Who gets the day off for Presidents Day?

Since Presidents Day is a federal holiday — remember it's called Washington's Birthday on federal calendars — anyone who works for the federal government or District of Columbia has the day off. Yes, that means post offices will be closed and there won't be mail delivery. Even the stock market will be closed.

Congress has never declared the day a national holiday. Each state decides its own legal holidays.

Is Presidents Day a holiday in Florida?

No. Days observed as paid holidays in Florida in 2023 are: New Year's Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans' Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Are Florida schools closed on Presidents Day?

Across Florida, almost every — but not all — school district is closed for students on Presidents Day.

What sales and deals are available for Presidents Day?

There's no lack of opportunities to save when it comes to Presidents Day deals, and many are available well before the actual holiday.

Best Buy Presidents Day deals are here early with savings on Google, LG and Microsoft

95+ Amazon deals to shop ahead of Presidents Day—Apple, Lego, Shark and more

Shop early Presidents Day sales for major savings at Tuft & Needle, Lowe's, Nordstrom and more

Walmart has Presidents Day deals on Samsung, Eufy and LG—shop today's best discounts now

Best Buy Presidents Day deals are here early with savings on Google, LG and Microsoft