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Pic of the Week: Monday is not Presidents’ Day – Or is it?

This coming Monday, February 15, we will celebrate the federal holiday, Washington’s Birthday. You may be thinking, “my calendar says Monday is ‘Presidents’ Day,’ not ‘Washington’s birthday!’” Interestingly, the federal holiday is officially called Washington’s Birthday (5 US Code 6103) and is observed on the third Monday in February as established by Public Law 90-361 (82 Stat 250).

George Washington birthplace sign. Photo by Fernando O. Gonzalez.

George Washington’s birthplace sign. Photo by Fernando O. González.

Some states also observe Washington’s birthday, but may have different names for the holiday. In some quick research I found “President’s Day,” “Presidents’ Day,” “Presidents Day.” Some states don’t celebrate this day at all and other states include additional presidents in their version of the holiday. Alabama, for example, observes “George Washington / Thomas Jefferson Birthday” and for Montana it is called “Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthdays.” Another fact I learned was that not all states observe this holiday in February—Georgia observes Washington’s birthday in December.

You can search Congress.gov for legislation proposed to change or modify the federal holiday. Over the years various members of Congress suggested changing the name, date, or adding Lincoln’s birthday as a holiday.

Interested in what holidays your state will observe in 2016? Here is a handy list of states’ websites I compiled listing their official holidays: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

For this Friday’s “Pic of the Week” I offer a recap of several presidents’ homes from my Virginia Dynasty series. It was a pleasure to visit these historic sites and there are many more outside Virginia. The National Park Service offers a list of presidential sites. Which site is the closest presidential home that you could visit this weekend in observance of Washington’s Birthday, Presidents Day, or whichever version of the holiday your state may observe?

Ash Lawn-Highland, home of James Monroe. Photo by Fernando O. Gonzalez.

Ash Lawn-Highland, home of James Monroe. Photo by Fernando O. González.

Monticello. Photo by Fernando O. Gonzalez.

Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. Photo by Fernando O. González.

Mount Vernon. Photo by Fernando O. Gonzalez.

Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. Photo by Fernando O. González.

Montpelier. Photo by Fernando O. Gonzalez.

Montpelier, home of James Madison. Photo by Fernando O. González.

One Comment

  1. Jacinda Gill
    February 23, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Very interesting explanation about this holiday and the legislation behind it. Also the photos are really nice.

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