During the month of February the birthday of two of our greatest President’s takes place: George Washington (Feb. 22nd) and Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12th). Much of the debate over the name of the holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February springs from the fact that each state can follow their own holidays as they see fit.
Washington’s Birthday is the official name to what many of us know as President’s Day, although many of the states chose to also honor Lincoln calling the celebration President’s Day. A little known bit of history is that Washington’s birthday has been publicly celebrated since he was in office, decades before Abraham Lincoln was even born.
In 1968 a motion designating the official celebration as President’s Day came before Congress. The motion did not pass, although Congress did move to schedule the holiday to fall between the two President’s birthdays. Then came the 1980’s when a resurgence of the term President’s Day used by advertisers solidified the holiday name into the American culture. Today there are few Americans who choose to call the holiday Washington’s Birthday, preferring President’s Day to honor both men.
In researching the celebration’s evolution I came across a Presidential Trivia Quiz that was a bit of a challenge. Fair warning: some of the answers needed a bit more in-depth research than I would have thought.