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President's Day
Major holiday before thisMLK Day
Major holiday after thisEaster

Presidents Day 2019 and 2020

Presidents Day in the US is celebrated every third Monday in February. The date stems from George Washington, the first US president, being born on 22 February.

Year Date Day Holiday States
2018 19 Feb Mon President's Day National except DE, FL, GA, IN,
IA, KS, KY, LA, NM, NC,
RI & WI
23 Nov Fri President's Day Holiday NM
2019 18 Feb Mon President's Day National except DE, FL, GA, IN,
IA, KS, KY, LA, NM, NC,
RI & WI
29 Nov Fri President's Day Holiday NM
2020 17 Feb Mon President's Day National except DE, FL, GA, IN,
IA, KS, KY, LA, NM, NC,
RI & WI
27 Nov Fri President's Day Holiday NM

Presidents Day originated as the celebration of the birthday of George Washington, the first president of the country. This day was known as “Washington’s Birthday,” and it was informally observed in many communities across the country following his death in 1799.

The holiday was unofficially observed for most of the 1800s. Then, in 1879, it was signed into law by President Rutherford B. Hayes as a federal holiday and the first holiday to celebrate the life of an individual.

In the late 1960s, Congress proposed a measure known as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The act shifted several federal holidays from specific dates to predetermined Mondays. It was thought that moving the holidays to Monday would give employees additional three-day weekends and reduce employee absenteeism.

The act included a provision to combine celebrations of Washington’s birthday, which falls on 22 February. with Lincoln’s birthday, which falls on 12 February. Thus, though the holiday is still written as “Washington’s Birthday” in federal law, it soon was popularly understood to be a celebration of Washington, Lincoln, and all other citizens who served as President of the United States – thus evolving to become “Presidents Day.”

To add further complexity to the name of the holiday, each state that made it a legal state holiday chose a variation on the name that best suited local history – naming the day after Washington, Lincoln, or actually stating the name “Presidents Day” in the Act.