Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"President's Day"


In some circles, today is observed as "President's Day," but it is still officially recognized as the anniversary of "Washington's Birthday."

Matthew Spaulding, a Heritage Foundation scholar, reminds: "Although it was celebrated as early as 1778, and by the early 19th Century was second only to the Fourth of July as a patriotic holiday, Congress did not officially recognize Washington's Birthday as a national holiday until 1870. The Monday Holiday Law in 1968---applied to executive branch departments and agencies by Richard Nixon's Executive Order 11582 in 1971---moved the holiday from February 22 to the third Monday in February. Section 6103 of Title 5, United States Code, currently designates that legal federal holiday as 'Washington's Birthday.' Contrary to popular opinion, no action by Congress or order by any President has changed 'Washington's Birthday' to 'President's Day'."

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