When is Washington’s Birthday? What is Presidents’ Day? Did George Washington really cut down a cherry tree? The long three-day weekend is here, and American’s have already begun celebrating Washington’s Birthday.
The federal holiday, also known as Presidents’ Day, falls on Monday, February 21, 2011 this year. Here are some facts and trivia to help inspire you through the weekend.
Presidents’ Day Sales
As part of the Uniform Monday Law, the federal holiday was designed to give families a three-day weekend with each other and to increase commercial activities such as travel. In schools, Presidents Day is a time to educate children the weekend before the holiday of the importance of the American president. Even though records of Congress officially call the holiday “Washington’s Birthday,” for marketing purposes many businesses refer to it as Presidents Day and is even stated on calendars as such.
Many Providence, Rhode Island stores have gigantic blowout sales on Presidents’ Day. From car dealers, to department stores like Walmart and Target, to clothing outlets and electronics stores – Presidents’ Day weekend is the time to pull out your wallet and take advantage of some deep, deep discounts.
Washington’s Birthday or Presidents’ Day?
With the blessing of advertisers in the 1980s, the term “Presidents Day” gained popularity and included Lincoln’s birthday, February 12th. Although Lincoln’s Birthday never became a federal holiday, many states have officially renamed the federal holiday as “Presidents Day”, and “Washington and Lincoln Day”. Now more widely known as Presidents’ Day, it honors all United States presidents as well, and not just Washington and Lincoln.
How Do YOU Spell Presidents’ Day?
According to Wikipedia, “Because Presidents Day is not the official name of the federal holiday, there is variation in how it is rendered. Both Presidents Day and Presidents’ Day are common today, and both are considered correct by dictionaries and usage manuals. Presidents’ Day was once the predominant style, and it is still favored by the majority of significant authorities—notably, The Chicago Manual of Style (followed by most book publishers and some magazines), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Webster’s Third International Dictionary, and Garner’s Modern American Usage.”
Did George Washington Cut Down the Cherry Tree?
There is much speculation about whether young George W actually cut down the cherry tree or not. Supposedly, he was given a little hatchet with which he cut his father’s prized cherry tree. When questioned by his father, Georgie answered, “I cannot tell a lie, father, you know I cannot tell a lie! I did cut it with my little hatchet.” It is generally believed today that the entire story was a fabrication by author Mason Locke Weems. Read the rest of the story here.
What’s Open, What’s Closed on Washington’s Birthday
Locally here in Rhode Island, banks, some government offices, and most schools will be closed on Presidents’ Day 2011. Additionally, there is no mail delivery service as U.S. post offices in and around the Providence, Rhode Island area will be closed to observe the federal holiday. See more Presidents’ Day closings here: Presidents Day 2011: Washington’s Birthday, what’s open, what’s closed in RI.
Washington’s Birthday/Presidents’ Day 2011 Articles
- Washington’s Birthday quotes, Abe Lincoln’s sayings for Presidents Day 2011
- When is Presidents’ Day 2011 and is Washington’s Birthday the same date?
- Free Presidents Day coloring pages: Washington’s Birthday printables, activities
- List of American Public holidays for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 dates
- List of United States Federal holidays for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 dates
- 2011 USPS Postal holiday closures list: No mail delivery on post office holidays
- Presidents Day 2011: Washington’s Birthday what’s open, what’s closed in RI
Sources: usps.com; www.when-is.com; wikipedia.org
Photo: George Washington 5 cent postage stamp image – Washington’s Birthday 2011. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.