10 Fun Facts About President's Day
President’s Day is a federal holiday marked by a three-day weekend honoring the lives of the forty-six Presidents in American history who have dedicated their lives to the service of our country. While every state in the union except Delaware celebrates President’s Day, many people are unaware of the holiday’s origins and its role in our modern-day lives. Let’s take a closer look and discover ten fun facts about President’s Day you may not have known!
What is President’s Day?
President’s Day, officially named Washington’s Birthday by the federal government, was created in 1885 in honor of the first president of the United States, George Washington’s birthday. It was among one of the very first federal holidays enacted by congress, giving government workers in the District of Columbia a day off of work.
Although Washington’s birthday is February 22, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 moved the holiday to the third Monday in February, which enabled it to include Abraham Lincoln’s birthday as well. With time, Americans began celebrating the birth and lives of all U.S. presidents, honoring those who helped shape our country into the superpower it is today. While President’s Day honors our leaders, it’s not the only federal holiday celebrating the brave men and women who gave everything to protect our country’s liberties. Labor Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Veterans Day, to name a few, were all enacted to ensure Americans never forget the high cost of the freedoms we enjoy.
President’s Day Facts
1. President’s Day Wasn’t Enacted Until Almost One Hundred Years After George Washington’s Death.
President George Washington died on December 14, 1799, sending the nation into mourning. However, it would be almost one hundred years before congress began enacting federal holidays, with George Washington’s Birthday being one of the first proposed. In 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes declared February 22nd as President’s Day. Originally only celebrated in Washington, D.C., the holiday would expand to the whole country six years later, in 1885.
2. President’s Day Goes by Many Names.
Officially named George Washington’s Birthday, many people began calling the holiday President’s Day as a way to honor the lives of all U.S. presidents. As a federal holiday, President’s day only grants government workers the day off. The states can choose to address the day as they see fit, even call it something else entirely! Other names for President’s Day include Lincoln Day, used in Illinois, Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day in Arkansas, and George Washington and Thomas Jefferson Day in Alabama.
3. President’s Day is Always Celebrated on Monday.
Did you know that President’s day was initially celebrated on Washington’s real birthday —- February 22nd? It wasn’t until the passing of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act on June 28, 1968, that the country began celebrating President’s Day on the third Monday of February. This act passed by congress gave government workers an long weekend to celebrate, and retailers began offering exciting sales to consumers.
4. A Way to Honor the Birth, Life, and Legacy of the Nation’s First President.
President George Washington was the country’s highest-ranking official, receiving the only 6-star ranking in American history. As the general who created the first military achievement badge for soldiers, it comes as no surprise that in addition to a federal holiday in his honor, Washington’s picture appears on the Purple Heart medal, which was reintroduced in 1932, marking his 200th birthday.
5. George Washington Was the Most Popular President in American History.
George Washington was so adored that he was the only president to be unanimously elected for his position. This feat was even more impressive, considering he received these votes after successfully passing the Constitution, he was voted for by all the members of the assembly!
6. A Dangerous Job
Being President of the United States is rewarding, but it’s also a dangerous position. While the threat of harm is ever present from those seeking to disable the country, one president, William Henry Harrison, learned the hard way that it’s not only people that can be deadly. On April 4, 1841, the ninth president of the United States caught a cold following his inauguration speech, which turned into pneumonia. Sadly, he died after only thirty-one days as commander-in-chief, becoming the first U.S. president to die in office.
7. George Washington Was Not the First President to Live in the White House.
When George Washington was elected as the president of the states, the White House didn't even exist yet. Although he chose the site of the building, his successor, John Adams, was the first to move into the still-unfinished White House in 1797.
8. The First American Presidents Were Immigrants.
The first seven presidents of the United States were born in England and immigrated to the colonies. Martin Van Buren, our 8th President, was the first president born as a citizen of the states!
9. Only Two Presidents Signed the Constitution.
Presidents James Madison and George Washington were the only two presidents to sign the United States Constitution. As part of the Constitutional Convention, both men played a large role in creating the freedoms Americans still enjoy today.
10. Politics Is Not The Only Talent Our Presidents Have
Along with their love of politics, many of our country’s presidents boasted talent in other areas as well.
- Thomas Jefferson was an architect who designed buildings for the University of Virginia and his famous home in Monticello.
- Teddy Roosevelt was fond of boxing, leaving him blind in one eye.
- Barack Obama won a Grammy Award in 2006 as a voice artist in the audiobook Dreams From My Father.
- Bill Clinton was a saxophonist and was also in a band in high school
- Ronald Reagan was an actor and comedian and is known for the infamous statement after his assassination attempt, “I forgot to duck”!
Celebrate President’s Day With AmericanFlags.com!
Celebrate this President’s Day with high-quality flags from Americanflags.com. Our Complete United States Home Decorating Kit has everything you need to display your patriotism with pride, including a durable full-sized U.S. flag, six stick flags, a steel mounting pole, and more. We have the widest selection of weather-resistant outdoor US flag sets, crafted from the highest quality materials for years of enjoyment. At Americanflags.com, we’ve provided our customers with outstanding patriotic products for over twenty years, making us the premier name in national, state, and specialty flags you can trust. Please contact us for more information!