Originally celebrated in 1885 in honor of George Washington's Birthday on Feb. 22, Presidents' Day is now celebrated the third Monday in February. Presidents' Day will be celebrated on Feb. 20 this year and it is a great time to reflect on all of the hard and important work presidents have done throughout our nation's history.
Rather than just celebrate Washington's Birthday, some states use Presidents' Day to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday as well, which is Feb. 12. Throughout the country, though, it is common to celebrate all past and present presidents on Presidents' Day.
Learn More About George Washington On Presidents' Day
Today people probably associate Presidents' Day mostly with great sales, but there is a lot more to it than that. Presidents' Day is a great opportunity to refresh your memory on some facts about George Washington and learn more about the holiday we celebrate in his honor.
- George Washington only left the U.S. once. In 1751 he took his half-brother, who was suffering from tuberculosis, to Barbados in hopes that the climate would help him heal.
- Washington and his wife Martha never had children together, although he did help raise Martha's two children.
- Washington originally wanted to return to his life at home after the Revolutionary War rather than lead the country. But after his major contributions in ratifying the Constitution, the Electoral College unanimously elected him president.
- Washington wanted the nation to remain neutral to foreign influences and political affiliations. However, two distinct political parties were forming in the country by the end of his first term as president.
- The shortest inaugural address ever delivered was Washington’s speech when he was elected for a second term. It was just 135 words long and lasted less than two minutes.
- Washington served two terms as president and retired in 1796. Each year on his birthday, Washington's Farewell Address is read in the U.S. Senate in recognition of his contributions to our country.
- Presidents' Day is actually the first federal holiday to celebrate an individual American.
- Washington was the first president to proclaim Thanksgiving as a holiday.
- During the Great Depression, portraits of George Washington were published in newspapers and magazines, helping to reinforce feelings of national pride and patriotism.
- The Purple Heart medal, originally created by George Washington, was reinstated on Washington's Birthday in 1932.
Benefit Veterans With A Car Donation
Although Presidents' Day is meant to honor our nation's presidents, it is also one of the better days to get a deal on a new car. If you do get a new car this Presidents' Day, consider donating your old car to Vehicles For Veterans benefiting disabled and other veteran programs. To donate your car, truck, boat, RV or motorcycle, please call 1-855-811-4838 or fill out our online car donation form.