President Day Theme
Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February. It is also commonly known as Presidents Day (or Presidents' Day). As Washington's Birthday or Presidents Day, it is also the official name of a concurrent state holiday celebrated on the same day in a number of states.
Titled Washington's Birthday, the federal holiday was originally implemented by the United States of America federal government in 1880 for government offices in the District of Columbia and expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices. As the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen, the holiday was celebrated on Washington's actual birthday, February 22. On January 1, 1971 the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. A draft of the Uniform Holidays Bill of 1968 would have renamed the holiday to Presidents' Day to honor both Washington and Lincoln, but this proposal failed in committee and the bill as voted on and signed into law on June 28, 1968 kept the name Washington's Birthday.
By the mid-1980s, with a push from advertisers, the term "Presidents' Day" began its public appearance. The theme has expanded the focus of the holiday to honor another President born in February, Abraham Lincoln, and often other Presidents of the United States. Although Lincoln's birthday, February 12, was never a federal holiday, approximately a dozen state governments have officially renamed their Washington's Birthday observances as "Presidents Day", "Washington and Lincoln Day", or other such designations. However, "Presidents Day" is not always an all-inclusive term. In Massachusetts, while the state officially celebrates "Washington's Birthday," state law also prescribes that the governor issue an annual Presidents Day proclamation honoring the presidents that have come from Massachusetts: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge, and John F. Kennedy. (Coolidge, the only one born outside of Massachusetts, spent his entire political career before the vice presidency there. George H. W. Bush, on the other hand, was born in Massachusetts, but has spent most of his life elsewhere.) Alabama uniquely observes the day as "Washington and Jefferson Day", even though Jefferson's birthday was in April. In New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois, while Washington's Birthday is a federal holiday, Abraham Lincoln's birthday is still a state holiday, falling on February 12 regardless of the day of the week. In California, Lincoln's Birthday is also a legal state holiday, however, observance is frequently moved to the Monday or Friday occurring closest to February 12. When Lincoln's Birthday is observed on the Friday preceding Washington's Birthday, the resultant four-day weekend is commonly called "Presidents' Day Weekend", particularly by retailers in their sale advertisements.
In Washington's home state of Virginia the holiday is legally known as "George Washington Day."
I personally like the term Presidents Day best—I like to be inclusive!—so I created the Presidents Day theme. I never much cared for apostrophes in holiday names, and it appears to be okay to use the term Presidents Day rather than Presidents' Day (though definitely not President's Day).
Can you name all of the presidents shown in the title bar of this theme? Give it a try, then come back and read the next paragraph to see how you did. =)
George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysess S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight David Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy.
|6.||1825-1829||John Quincy Adams||1767-1848|
|8.||1837-1841||Martin Van Buren||1782-1862|
|9.||1841||William Henry Harrison||1773-1841|
|11.||1845-1849||James K. Polk||1795-1849|
|18.||1869-1877||Ulysses S. Grant||1822-1885|
|19.||1877-1881||Rutherford B. Hayes||1822-1893|
|20.||1881||James A. Garfield||1831-1881|
|21.||1881-1885||Chester A. Arthur||1829?-1886|
|27.||1909-1913||William Howard Taft||1857-1930|
|29.||1921-1923||Warren G. Harding||1865-1923|
|32.||1933-1945||Franklin Delano Roosevelt||1882-1945|
|33.||1945-1953||Harry S. Truman||1884-1972|
|34.||1953-1961||Dwight D. Eisenhower||1890-1969|
|35.||1961-1963||John F. Kennedy||1917-1963|
|36.||1963-1969||Lyndon B. Johnson||1908-1973|
|41.||1989-1993||George H. W. Bush||1924-2018|
|43.||2001-2009||George W. Bush||1946-|