Home / Blog / Miscellaneous / It's Not Presidents Day

It's Not Presidents Day

If you look at the Federal calendar, you won't find a holiday called "Presidents Day". This is because according to section 6103(a) of title 5 of the U.S. code, the law which defines holidays for Federal workers, today is designated as "Washington's Birthday". But, wait a minute. George Washington was born on February 22nd, 1732, so why wouldn't we celebrate his birthday on February 22nd?

We used to; however, Congress decided in 1968 that it would be a good idea to create several three-day Federal holidays for the convenience of workers. Along with Washington's birthday, Memorial Day and Veteran's Day were each officially moved to Mondays in 1971. Genius.

Confusion ensued since Lincoln's birthday also happens to fall in February and many people thought the change was made so Americans could honor both Lincoln and Washington with one holiday.

Of course, retailers jumped on the opportunity to promote another long weekend of shopping by advertising "Presidents Day" sales everywhere. Who cares what we were really celebrating, right? The result is that many Americans today correlate Washington's birthday with just another long weekend to whip out their credit cards and hit the malls. The marketers win again!

George Washington certainly wasn't perfect in every way, but he is regarded as the "Father" of our country and was an outstanding leader of integrity and charisma. We can learn a lot from what he accomplished during his life. So make sure you take advantage of some of those killer bargains today on mattresses, towels, and dining sets, but keep the original George W. in mind as you spend the day shopping. He's the real reason you're enjoying a day off work. 

Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Get the latest tips & advice from our team of 30+ credit & money experts, delivered to you via email each month. sign up Now

Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

Visit 's Google Plus profile for more.