Washington's Birthday

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February 22, formerly observed as a legal holiday in most states of the U.S. in honor of the birth of George Washington.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is Washington's Birthday?

Washington’s Birthday is the official name of the U.S. federal holiday that is popularly known as Presidents’ Day

Washington’s Birthday celebrates the birthday of the first U.S. president, George Washington.

The popular use of the name Presidents’ Day for the day is due to it being thought of as a celebration of the birthdays of both Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as a day to observe the contributions of presidents throughout U.S. history.

When is Washington's Birthday?

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, but the federal holiday that’s officially called Washington’s Birthday takes place every year on the third Monday in February. This means that the specific date changes each year. Before its observance was set for this day, it was celebrated on February 22.

As a federal holiday, Washington’s Birthday 2023 is on February 20. Washington’s Birthday 2024 will take place on February 19, 2024.

More information and context on Washington's Birthday

The celebration of Washington’s Birthday began shortly after his death in 1799 but was unofficial until 1879. It was made a federal holiday in 1885. In 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act changed the observance of the holiday so that it would always fall on a Monday, resulting in a three-day weekend. In many places, Lincoln’s Birthday (which is on February 12) is also observed as part of what’s popularly called Presidents’ Day. Because Washington’s Birthday is a federal holiday, many schools and workplaces are closed on the day. Schoolchildren often learn about presidents—especially Washington and Lincoln—and their role in U.S. history around this time, but the holiday is not commonly marked with any widespread festivities.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Washington’s Birthday?

How is Washington's Birthday discussed in real life?

In the U.S., Washington’s Birthday is most commonly called Presidents’ Day. It is not commonly marked with any festivities, though retail businesses are known for having sales during what’s called Presidents’ Day weekend.    


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True or False?

George Washington was born on February 22, but the federal holiday that’s officially called Washington’s Birthday takes place every year on the third Monday in February.

How to use Washington's Birthday in a sentence