Holiday: Washington’s Birthday

February 15, 2010 by
Filed under: General Interest 

Washington’s Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February. It is also commonly known as Presidents Day (sometimes spelled as Presidents’ Day or President’s Day). As Washington’s Birthday or Presidents Day, it is also the official name of a concurrent state holiday celebrated on the same day in a number of states.

Today, the February holiday has become well-known for being a day in which many stores, especially car dealers, hold sales. Until the late 1980s, corporate businesses generally closed on this day, similar to present corporate practices on Memorial Day or Christmas Day. With the late 1980s advertising push to rename the holiday, more and more businesses are staying open on the holiday each year, and, as on Veterans Day and Columbus Day, most delivery services outside of the U.S. Postal Service now offer regular service on the day as well. Over time, as with many federal holidays, few Americans actually celebrate Washington’s Birthday, and it is mainly known as a day off from work or school, although many non-governmental workers do not take the day off.

While Washington’s Birthday was originally established to honor George Washington, the term Presidents Day was informally coined in a deliberate attempt to use the holiday to honor multiple presidents, and is virtually always used that way today.


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