Publication Date

February 21, 2011

Digital version of George Washington's papersThe President’s Day holiday was originally called the Washington’s Birthday when it was conceived in 1880, and in fact fell on George Washington’s birthday: February 22nd. In 1971, the date was changed to the third Monday in February, in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.  Advertisers in the 80’s can be thanked for the name change, from Washington’s Birthday to President’s Day, which they used to promote sales between Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th and Washington’s birthday on February 22nd. For a more detailed history on the origins and evolution of the Washington’s Birthday/President’s Day holiday see part one and part two of C.L. Arbelbide’sarticle “By George, IT IS Washington’s Birthday!” from the National Archives Prologue magazine.

Today we remember the holiday by looking to resources and lesson plans online on George Washington and a number of other presidents.  We also have a little fun. Scroll to the bottom of this post and see how many wax presidents you can identify.

Lesson Plans


Web Sites

Last week Madame Tussauds set up wax figures of the 44 U.S. presidents in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station. Check out the image and let us know, can you name them all? For more information see Dcist’s article “Wax Presidents Take Over Union Station’s Grand Atrium.”

wax u.s. presidents

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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