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Washington's Birthday


George Washington

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Washington's Birthday



George Washington was born February 22, 1732.

George Washington was the military leader of the American Revolution and the first president of the United States of America. He took his oath of office as the President of the United States on April 30, 1789.

The birthday of George Washington has been a legal holiday since 1885. It was originally celebrated each February 22. In 1968, legislation (HR 15951) was enacted that affected several federal holidays. One of these was Washington's Birthday, the observation of which was shifted to the third Monday in February each year whether or not it fell on the 22nd. This act was designed to simplify the yearly calendar of holidays.

In 1971 President Richard Nixon proclaimed the third Monday of February to be a federal holiday. Although popularly known as Presidents' Day, according to federal law it is the official observance of Washington's Birthday. Because a number of states (but not the federal government) also officially celebrate the February 12th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, many Americans have come to believe -- incorrectly -- that the third Monday of February is a consolidated "Presidents' Day" honoring both Washington and Lincoln, and indeed all U.S. presidents.

In 1976, Congress posthumously promoted Washington to the rank of six-star general of the armies, assuring that he would continue to outrank all other members of the military, now and in the future.



George Washington

George Washington






Washington's Birthday Holiday Honors "Father of our Country" (From the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs)


US Code Title 5, Chapter 61, Section 6103(a) - This federal law defines the third Monday of February as Washington's Birthday.


President Nixon's 1971 Executive Order 11582 - Observance of holidays by Government agencies. (National Archives and Records Administration)


George Washington Birthplace National Monument (From the U.S. National Park Service)


The Washington Monument (From the U.S. National Park Service)


George Washington - A National Treasure (Smithsonian Institution)


George Washington Biography (The White House)


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