February 20, 2012 by, Emily

Well, it’s that time of the year again – the time to celebrate our greatest Presidents. Luckily for us, they had birthdays around the same time of year.

You know, I was just reading up on President’s Day and it seems there was a bit of controversy about it. For instance, did you know that originally President’s Day was just for George Washington’s birthday? It’s true. And it was called Washington’s Birthday, not President’s Day.

The problem was that people fought over when his birthday actually was. According to the Gregorian calendar, his birthday was on February 22nd. But according to the Julian calendar (which was used in England back in the day), his birthday was on the 11th! So while everyone in the country celebrated his birthday, they celebrated on different days.

After a while, Lincoln became President and did some amazing things for the country. So, it was decided that he would also have a special day. And what better day than a birthday, right? Funny thing was that his birthday was on February 12th, which was pretty close to both of President Washington’s birthdays.

THEN Congress decided to make federal holidays happen only on Mondays, in order make things uniform and typical (which is what government entities seem to like). So they decided that Washington’s Day would be on the 3rd Monday of the month of February, which is silly since that would be no where near his actual birthday. And, to make things easier, they also decided that Lincoln’s birthday could be celebrated the same day. This meant that neither of the Presidents (Lincoln or Washington) could have their births celebrated on their birthdays unless their birthdays fell conveniently on the 3rd Monday of February.

Fast forward a bit and Congress decided that all Presidents should be celebrated, as they all have added something unique and special to our Country’s history. And thus we have President’s Day, the third Monday of each February when we celebrate Washington, Lincoln, and all the rest.

Fascinating, isn’t it? So happy President’s Day to everyone out there who appreciates our Presidents and the history of the USA. And please remember to give a bit of extra thought to Washington today, as he has had to share his special day with quite a few others over the years.

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