Presidents’ Day Celebrated on Feb. 21

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Provided by Prince William County

Originally celebrated on Feb. 22 recognizing George Washington’s birthday, Presidents; Day is now a federal holiday held on the third Monday in February to recognize all presidents. Presidents; Day will fall on Feb. 21 this year.

Throughout the 1800s, people celebrated Washington’s birthday since he was arguably the most recognized and beloved figure in the newly formed United States. President Rutherford B. Hayes signed an 1879 bill making Feb. 22 a holiday in the District of Columbia. In 1885, Washington’s birthday became a federal holiday, according to history.com.

In the late 1960s, the U.S. Congress proposed the Uniform Holidays Act, which would place federal holidays on Mondays to give workers across the country more three-day weekends. Unions and businesses alike supported the move because they saw it as a way to increase retail sales. The bill passed in 1968 and went into effect in 1971.

Veterans Day was initially included as a Monday holiday but was moved back to Nov. 11 because of heavy criticism.

Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Columbus Day were moved from their original designated dates to Monday holidays. Columbus Day is now celebrated as Indigenous People’s Day in cities and states across the U.S.

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