The Margin: 5 things to know about Presidents Day (aka Washington’s Birthday)

by | Feb 20, 2023 | Stock Market

For decades, Americans have observed Presidents Day on the third Monday of February (this year, that falls on Feb. 20). It’s a federal holiday that affords us an opportunity to take advantage of sales aplenty or simply relax and enjoy a three-day weekend. But what are the origins of the holiday? And who exactly are we honoring? Here are five things to keep in mind.

The holiday is called Presidents Day, right? Not necessarily. On the federal calendar, it’s specified as Washington’s Birthday — a day to honor George Washington, our first president. As the federal Office of Personnel Management notes on its website: “This holiday is designated as ‘Washington’s Birthday’ in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.” But as the Office of Personnel Management indicates, states can — and will — do their own thing. And many, from Alaska to Wyoming, recognize the holiday as Presidents Day.When did Presidents Day — er, Washington’s Birthday — become an official federal holiday? The country has been observing Washi …

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