President’s Day 2020- History and Celebrations

In the United States, President’s Day or Washington’s Birthday is a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February to mark the birthday of George Washington. This year it will fall on February 17.  He was the first president of the United States born on 22nd February 1732. According to the Uniform Federal Holidays Act of 1971, the observance can occur from 15th to 21st February. This day is also known as President’s Day and also an occasion to honor all the president who has served for the country, not just George Washington.

Washington’s Birthday is also known by different official names which include Washington’s Birthday, Presidents’ Day, President’s Day and Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthday (as it also falls on the 12th of February).

During the birth of George Washington, America was not a free nation, the nation was under British rule and the Americans are struggling for their freedom. At that time, George Washington was an American general and he was in the war against Britain to get freedom for America.


The first president of the United States of America was George Washington, he became president from 1789 to 1793 and his second term was from 1793 to 1797. Before becoming the president of America, he was in the military and also often seen as the father of the United States.

In 1879, Act of Congress honored the nation’s first President Washington by declaring a federal holiday and in 1885, it expanded nationwide. The holiday was celebrated on the birthday of George Washington under the Gregorian calendar on February 22. According to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February which marks the effect on this date.

In 1951, when the President’s Day National Committee was formed on this day the first attempt was made to create President’s Day by Harold Stonebridge Fischer of Compton, California who was the National Executive Director for the next two decades. The purpose to make President’s Day was not to honor any specific president but to honor the office of the presidency and other presidents also.


The Washington’s Birthday officially known as-

By the name Presidents’ Day- the places Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Puerto Rico, Texas, Vermont, and Washington.

President’s Day: – Alaska, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Presidents Day: – New Jersey, Nevada, and Oregon.

Washington’s Birthday and President’s Day in Maine.

Lincoln, Washington and Presidents’ Day in Arizona.

The Traditional food associated with this day is “Cherry Pie” which is based on chopping down of a cherry tree in Washington’s Youth.

The major celebrations take place at Alexandria, Virginia – the adopted hometown of George Washington’s. Here the celebration goes throughout the month. On President’s Day, people gather together with good grill foods. Most of the businesses remain open by offering many sales and other promotions but the Federal and State government services will remain closed. From 1862, a tradition has been followed in the United States Senate, on his birthday the George Washington’s Address will be read by the citizens.

Swikriti Dandotia