Why Do We Call It George Washington’s Day?

Mount Vernon

Every year, we receive dozens of questions from people curious about why we call next week’s holiday “George Washington’s Day” instead of “President’s Day.”

And this year is no different — we’ve received plenty of questions about why.

Here’s the scoop:

  • Until 1971, both Feb. 12 and Feb. 22 were observed as federal public holidays to honor the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12) and George Washington (Feb. 22).
  • In 1971, one single federal public holiday was created to be observed on the third Monday of February, honoring all past presidents of the United States of America.
  • The Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes and deems the third Monday in February as George Washington Day to honor George Washington. Given that George Washington was one of the most preeminent people instrumental in the formation of the United States, given that George Washington is honored by Virginia law, given that Fairfax County is a political subdivision of Virginia, and given that George Washington was a resident and public official of Fairfax County, the state and county refer to the third Monday in February as George Washington’s Day.
  • Virginia Code § 2.2-3300 sets forth the legal holidays that are recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

 

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