Fun Facts about President’s Day
When we mentioned some of the February celebrations that would be coming up, one of the important ones was President’s Day, which falls on February 20th this year. Here are some interesting facts about the day itself and about some of the people it honors.
- First of all, President’s Day is not the official name of the holiday we call by that name. It’s really Washington’s Birthday. This holiday was celebrated during George Washington’s lifetime but it didn’t become a federal holiday till 1885. It is celebrated as George Washington Day in Virginia.
- George Washington’s birthday was originally February 12 under the Julian calendar that America followed till 1752. When America switched to the Gregorian calendar (shorter by 11 days), his birthday moved to February 22.
- Although Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (February 12) is celebrated as part of the overall President’s Day celebrations, Lincoln’s birthday is not a federal holiday. A 1950 bill to include his birthday in the celebrations was never passed. However, Lincoln’s birthday is still observed in some states.
- Alabama celebrates Thomas Jefferson’s birthday in February, although his birthday is really in April. It is the only state to do so.
- We all know the story of George Washington and the cherry tree, don’t we? That’s why it’s tradition to make cherry desserts and pastries as part of the President’s Day celebrations.
- In New Mexico, government employees get a day off for President’s Day, but it’s the day after Thanksgiving!
More Presidential Trivia
- At 69, Ronald Reagan was the oldest man to be inaugurated as president. He’s also known to have done a stint as a stand up comedian in Las Vegas in 1954.
- Abraham Lincoln was America’s tallest president at 6 feet four inches.
- America has only had 43 presidents – Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and 24th president; that’s why Barack Obama is the 44th president.
- Which president got a speeding ticket while riding a horse? Ulysses S Grant, of course!
- The term First Lady dates back to 1849. It was used by President Zachary Taylor at the funeral of Dolley Madison.
- Theodore Roosevelt named the White House in 1900.
- George Washington borrowed books from the Manhattan library which he never returned. Allowing for inflation, he would owe more than $300,000 now.
- Thomas Jefferson made improvements to the sundial, the swivel chair and the polygraph among other inventions.
What other fun facts do you know about our presidents? Feel free to share. And if you’re looking for a sweet deal on airport parking, check out this month’s discount parking coupon.