Interestingly, the national holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February is legally called George Washington’s birthday, not Presidents’ Day. However, because Abraham Lincoln was also born in February and never received his own national holiday, Washington’s day is now commonly called Presidents’ Day to honor Washington and Lincoln as well as the other US Presidents.
Government offices and banks are closed on national holidays. Government services like the postal service and trash collection don’t run, and public schools are closed. Some businesses are closed, but others use the holiday to attract shoppers. Presidents’ Day is known in the US for big sales, on everything from clothes to computers to cars.
Below are a couple of cool facts beyond saving 15% at your local shopping mall:
- Every year since 1862 a member of the US Senate reads Washington’s Farewell Address on (or near) his actual birthday (Feb 22) to remind current leaders of the ideals and principles of “the father” of our country.
- George Washington established the original Purple Heart as the Badge of Military Merit to honor every solider who “has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland.”
For more on George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other US Presidents, click here.
Please note, at the time of this posting, the history.com audio version of Washington’s speeches was not functioning.