How do you recognize the holiday on the third Monday of February?
- Honoring Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays
(35%, 47 Votes)
- A 3-day weekend
(22%, 29 Votes)
- No holiday recognized
(19%, 26 Votes)
- Honoring all presidents
(19%, 25 Votes)
- Honoring George Washington's birthday
(5%, 7 Votes)
Total Voters: 134
The third Monday of the month of February, is officially recognized as a federal holiday commemorating the February 22nd birthday of the country’s founding father and first president, George Washington. By law, under 5 USC 6103, the holiday is known as “Washington’s Birthday.” The holiday had been celebrated on George Washington’s actual birthday on February 22 and was changed to the third Monday in February as a result of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968. The draft of the legislation, which affected other federal holidays as well, included changing it to “Presidents’ Day” to recognize the February birthdays of both Washington and Abraham Lincoln, (February 12th). But that change failed in committee.
But just because the federal government recognizes a holiday does not mean states, businesses or organizations are required to follow. For example, about half of US states recognize today as some form of Presidents’ Day, with some placing the apostrophe in front of the “s” (recognizing Washington’s birthday),” others behind (perhaps recognizing Washington’s and Lincoln’s February birthdays or all presidents) and some omitting it altogether (recognizing all presidents).
According to The National Constitution Center, “One reason is that federal holidays just specify when paid holidays are given to federal employees in what are considered non-essential positions and the holidays are part of collective bargaining agreements. Adding or dropping a holiday for federal employees affects those agreements.”