George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd is now generally known as Presidents’ Day. In fact, it was the first federal holiday to honor an American president, and was originally established in 1885.
Presidents Day was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday until January 1, 1971. Then, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act shifted it to the third Monday in February.
As a result, it can occur the 15th through the 21st inclusive, but not on Washington’s actual birthday.
Even so, the federal government still officially recognizes Presidents’ Day as “Washington’s Birthday,” though it is certainly an occasion to remember all U.S. presidents.
“Heaven” and “this House”
John Adams, our second president, and the first to inhabit the President’s House (known as the White House since 1901), wrote this in a letter to his beloved wife Abigail, as seen below carved in to the stone fireplace of the White House State Dining Room:
“I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.”
We would do well to do the same.