The tradition of Presidents Day first began in 1800, the year after Washington died. The holiday became official in 1879, after people morning his loss celebrated his birthday. It became a federal event in 1885. This was the first observance for a single individual, according to the History Channel. But soon the day wasn’t just for Washington— by the 1960s; Congress was requesting the government add Lincoln to the annual festivities. Today, people use it to remember all of the U.S. commander-in-chiefs. As for why the date moves around, falling anywhere from February 15 through the 21st, that’s because of 1968’s Monday Holiday Act which is a law literally passed to give you a three-day weekend. The act moved President’s Day, along with Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day from their original dates to the closest Monday in order to give federal employees a long weekend.
20 Facts About Washington, Lincoln And Other US Leaders:
- Washington’s birthday was Feb. 22, 1732. He became president in 1789.
- Lincoln’s birthday was Feb. 12, 1809. He became president in 1861.
- Washington did have fake teeth, but they weren’t wooden. More likely, the teeth were made out of ivory.
- The land where Washington was born is a national monument, while Lincoln’s cabin is a national historical park.
- Lincoln’s national historical park has a building with 56 steps — one for each year he lived before being assassinated.
- Warren G. Harding had size 14 feet.
- Martin Van Buren is responsible for the popular use of the term “OK.”
- Theodore Roosevelt had a ring with some of Lincoln’s hair inside it.
- Washington didn’t want to be paid a salary for his work as president.
- The first president to live part of his term in the White House was John Adams.
- Washington had two spies.
- Rutherford B. Hayes was wounded four times in battle.
- President James Madison attended Princeton University before it was called that. He technically attended the College of New Jersey.
- James Buchanan is the only president to not have a wife. Grover Cleveland started off at the White House single but got married in office.
- Lincoln was the first president to have a beard.
- Two presidents have been impeached: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
- Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to ride in an airplane.
- The infection that killed Zachary Taylor began after he ate a bunch of cherries.
- Barack Obama has two dogs, Bo and Sunny. Bo has a brother named Rico.
- Bill Clinton knows how to play the saxophone.