The USA celebrates Presidents Day today, which is a federal holiday and falls each year on the third Monday in February.
What is Presidents Day?
Presidents Day is timed to coincide with the birthdate of the USA’s first President, George Washington, who was born on 22 February 1732. The 1st President of the United States was in office from 30 April 1789 to 4 March 1797. The day also takes into account Abraham Lincoln’s birthdate of 12 February 1809 who served as the USA’s 16th President from 4 March 1861 – 15 April 1865.
How do people celebrate?
Presidents Day officially honours the commitments of George Washington, as well as commemorating all past presidents. Depending on the individual states, the third Monday in February is either known as Presidents' Day or Washington’s Birthday.
Some states also specifically honour the life and achievements of Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday falls ten days before Washington’s. Indeed much of February is given over for special events and lessons within schools, as well as themed exhibitions within museums and galleries. It’s also become a popular day for stores to begin their seasonal sales.
Prior to becoming President, George Washington served an important role within the military and led the American Continental Army who defeated the British in 1783. George Washington served as the very first president of the USA, with his first term running from 1789 to 1793, followed by his second term from 1793 to 1797. He is often regarded as the father of the USA and remains one of the best known politicians in the world.
Images of George Washington are everywhere within the USA, such as the famous carvings of him alongside Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln at the famous site of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. His image also appears on the one dollar US bill as well as the 25c coin. Indeed, the nation’s capital is named after him - Washington D.C. – as well as the state and several universities.
Washington's Birthday became a holiday first in 1880 in the District of Columbia and became a federal holiday in 1885.