WHAT ARE WE CELEBRATING?
A. George Washington's birthday
B. Abraham Lincoln's birthday
C. All presidents
D. A and B
E. All of the above
The answer depends on where you live. The federal holiday in the United States is technically still called "Washington's Birthday," in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The day is also a state holiday in most states, with official names including Washington's Birthday, Presidents' Day, President's Day, and Washington and Lincoln's Birthday. Depending on the specific law, the state holiday may celebrate just Washington, Washington and Lincoln, or some other combination of United States presidents. Got it? Now it gets even more interesting.
WHAT'S THE CORRECT WAY TO SPELL IT?
Once again, it depends on where you are and who you're honoring. Even stylebooks spell it differently. The AP stylebook prefers "Presidents Day," while Chicago Style uses "Presidents' Day." Some advertisers and writers take the liberty of calling it "President's Day."
WHEN DID IT START?
President's Day started in the 1880s, when the birthday of George Washington was first celebrated as a national holiday.
WHY ON A MONDAY?
You can thank something called the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill. In 1968, Congress passed this bill into law, which moved a number of federal holidays to Mondays. President's Day is always held on the third Monday in February. So think about it, President's Day can never really fall on George Washington's actual birthday. February 22nd always happens too late to fall on the third Monday of the month.
WHERE'S MY BONUS?
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