Presidents’ Day is the popular and commonly used name for the United States federal holiday officially called Washington’s Birthday. It is celebrated annually on the third Monday of February.
Presidents’ Day honors and celebrates the life and achievements of George Washington, the first President of the United States (1780-1797) and “Father of his Country.” The day is, in practice, often used to honor and remember all past U.S. presidents, and now in particular Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.
Presidents’ Day was created in 1879 and was first celebrated the following year. It was originally held on Washington’s actual birthday, February 22nd. In 1971 the date was changed to the third Monday of February. It was the first federal holiday created to honor an American citizen.
Presidents’ Day is an occasion for community celebrations and parades. Many stores and businesses have special events or sales. The Purple Heart Military Badge (the badge includes an image of Washington) for soldiers injured in the course of duty is awarded on Presidents’ Day.
This year Presidents’ Day is celebrated on Monday, February 17, 2020.