Presidents Day Facts and Fury

Today is Presidents Day. Or is it President’s Day? Or even Presidents’ Day? It appears there is not a clear consensus if the day is plural, possessive or possessive plural! The states’ official calendars differ all across the country. Some of you may not care at all, but they do mean very different things.

When Presidents Day first began, it originated as a holiday to celebrate George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd. However, in 1968, in order to create more three-day weekends, Congress changed the holiday from February 22nd to always occurring on the third Monday in February. This means the day will fall anywhere from February 15th through February 21st, just narrowly missing the actual day every time!

During this time, there was a push to rename the holiday “Presidents’ Day” to honor all presidents. (That’s what the apostrophe after the “s” signifies.) However, there was a disagreement over whether all presidents should be honored in the same way, so the idea was abandoned and “Washington’s Birthday” remained. To this day, the holiday is still federally recognized as “Washington’s Birthday.”

However, states and every retail store offering any kind of sale seem to call it some variation of Presidents, President’s or Presidents’ Day! Check your email right now and we bet you can find every variation.

To add to the confusion, some states and retailers will also add Abraham Lincoln’s birthday into the celebration. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12th. So although the holiday can never fall on President Lincoln’s actual birthday, some states honor him on this day as well. So call it what you want – Presidents Day, President’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Washington’s Birthday, Lincoln’s Birthday, or Washington or Lincoln’s Birthday…we hope you’re enjoying the long weekend!