George Washington's Birthday in United States

George Washington's Birthday

What is George Washington's Birthday?

Washington's Birthday, the federal holiday observed annually in the United States, is known as Presidents' Day. It is celebrated every year on the third Monday of February.

The day was first observed the following year after it was established in 1879. It initially took place on Washington's birthday (February 22). However, this date was modified in 1971 to the third Monday of February, putting it between February 15 and 21, which makes the term "Washington's Birthday" somewhat misleading, as it can never occur on Washington's real birthday anymore.

Washington's Birthday honors and commemorates George Washington's life and accomplishments as "The Father of the Country" and the first president of the United States (1789–1797). It was the first federal holiday established in recognition of an American citizen. The day is frequently used to celebrate and remember all previous US presidents, notably Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

George Washington's Birthday - All Quick Review  

  • Time/Date: Third Monday of February every year
  • Category: Federal
  • Where It's Marked: USA
  • Why It's Marked: To honor George Washington's life and accomplishments and to celebrate and remember all previous US presidents.

History of George Washington's Birthday

George Washington was regarded as one of, if not the most, significant leaders in American history both during his lifetime and immediately following his death in 1799. He led the Continental Army throughout the American Revolutionary War. 

From 1789 to 1797, he served as president for the first two terms of the United States. His assembling the first American Cabinet and Executive Branch, maintaining American peace by remaining neutral during the French Revolution, and advocating for unity and American principles during his parting speech were some of his most significant accomplishments.

To honor George Washington's achievements both nationally and across the nation, the Washington Monument was built in 1848. And his birthday was an unofficial national holiday until 1885 when it was made an official national holiday.

For many years, Washington's Birthday was observed on February 22, his actual birthday, to honor George Washington. However, the date was changed later, representing a shift in how Americans perceived the holiday. Because the holiday was moved between George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays, many people saw it as a holiday honoring numerous presidents. 

Throughout the 1980s, many states adopted Presidents’ Day as the official name for the holiday "Washington's Birthday." Presidents’ Day is becoming more inclusive, recognizing both former and current presidents. Some congressional efforts in the early 2000s attempted to revive the holiday to highlight Washington and Abraham's achievements, but they were mostly ignored.

However, the federal government still officially recognizes this day as Washington's Birthday.

How is George Washington's Birthday Celebrated?

The birthday of Washington is a time for communal parties and parades. Special sales are provided at a lot of shops and enterprises. On the anniversary of Washington's birth, troops who have been wounded while doing their duties are given the Purple Heart military badge, which features an image of the president.

Presidents’ Day is seen by many as an occasion to honor patriotism and recall American history, much like the Fourth of July. Some organizations perform reenactments of Revolutionary War battles or well-known speeches, such as George Washington's farewell address upon leaving office.

During the holiday, many people also use the opportunity to review American history. Schools frequently offer specialized instruction about past US presidents, particularly George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, in the weeks leading up to the event.

Interesting Facts about George Washington's Birthday

  • The actual date of Washington's birthday is February 22, 1732. (In 2023, this would be his 291st birthday!)
  • Because of the 1968 Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Washington's Birthday is observed on the third Monday of February.
  • The birthplace of George Washington is a national monument in Colonial Beach, Virginia.
  • Rather than referring to this day as Presidents' Day,  the federal government still officially calls this day Washington's Birthday.
  • To include President Abraham Lincoln's birthday, the government debated renaming the holiday Presidents Day, but the idea was rejected in committees.
  • Only George Washington was chosen as president by a unanimous vote. i.e., he received the support of all state representatives.

George Washington's Birthday Quotes

Let's use the opportunity of Washington's Birthday to educate ourselves with iconic and motivating leadership quotes from American presidents.

"99% of failures come from people who make excuses." - George Washington

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader." - John Adams

"By leadership, we mean the art of getting someone else to do something that you want to be done because he wants to do it, not because your position of power can compel him to do it. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." - Theodore Roosevelt  

"Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today." - Abraham Lincoln


1. Why isn't Washington's Birthday celebrated on his actual birthday?

In 1879, "George Washington's Birthday" became a government holiday. From then until 1971, the birthday of the first American president was observed on February 22, George Washington's birthday, according to the Gregorian calendar.

Congress permanently changed the date of George Washington's Birthday and two other federal holidays to Mondays in 1971. George Washington's birthday is now celebrated on the third Monday of February each year, which means it can never occur on George Washington's actual birthday.

The holidays were changed to provide employees in the country with longer weekends. President Lyndon B. Johnson attempted to encourage Americans to enjoy the time off by signing the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

2. Which states do not observe Washington's Birthday holiday?

Delaware does not observe Washington's Birthday or Presidents' Day holiday.

George Washington's Birthday Observances

Year Weekday Date Name Holiday Type
2022 Mon 21 Feb George Washington's Birthday Public
2023 Mon 20 Feb George Washington's Birthday Public
2024 Mon 19 Feb George Washington's Birthday Public
2025 Mon 17 Feb George Washington's Birthday Public
2026 Mon 16 Feb George Washington's Birthday Public

We constantly update the dates of holidays that keep changing every year. However, while we revise and change some dates to be accurate, if you find any errors, kindly inform us . That will mean a lot to us.

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