Why Do We Celebrate President’s Day- President’s Day Facts for Kids

President’s Day is a day off from school but have you ever wondered why we celebrate President’s Day?  Did you know that President’s Day started off as George Washington Day? Find out all the cool facts about President’s Day with these President’s Day Facts for Kids.

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American flag

George Washington’s Birthday 

President’s Day dates back to the 1800s.  The year after the death of President George Washington.  Washington was born on February 22, 1732, and died on December 14, 1799.  He was America’s first president.  February 22nd was George Washington’s birthday.  It became a day of remembrance to celebrate our nation’s first president. Each year more and more people celebrated his birthday and in 1885 it became a holiday. In the late 1870’s Arkansas Senator Steven Wallace Dorsey proposed that the nation declare George Washington’s Birthday a federal holiday.

In 1879 President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill declaring February 22nd George Washington Day a federal holiday.   Washington became the first American citizen in history with a federal holiday.  By 1885 the holiday expanded and the entire country was celebrating George Washington’s birthday.

President’s Day Facts 

In 1968 Congress passed a bill called the uniform Monday Holiday Bill.  The bill was passed to create 3 day weekends for workers and moved some holidays to Mondays. The hope was to boost the travel industry by people taking short vacations for the three-day weekend. The bill combined George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd with Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th.

In 1971 George Washington’s Day was moved to the third Monday in the month of February to give workers a three-day weekend.   The name of the holiday was never officially changed to President’s Day however in most states the holiday is called President’s Day.

Other holidays that moved to Monday include:

Memorial Day which is celebrated on the last Monday in May.

Labor Day observed on the first Monday in September.

Columbus Day observed on the 2nd Monday on October.

Presidents Born in February

Presidents born in February: George Washington 2/22, Abraham Lincoln 2/12, Ronald Reagan 2/6, and William Henry Harrison 2/9.

How is President’s Day Celebrated?

The holiday is celebrated differently in each state.  Kids have the day off from school and many offices and businesses are closes.  Government offices, courts, and the Stock Exchange are all closed.  

Many stores have large sales on President’s Day to draw in customers.  Popular items that have sales include electronics, clothing, and cars.  

In some areas, it is custom to eat cherry pie on President’s Day because of the story about George Washington cutting down a cherry tree.  

Some states and cities have parades and local celebrations to honor and support past presidents.  

President Fun Facts

  • Presidents live at the White House in Washington D.C. Before it was called the White House it was called the President’s House.
  • On November 1, 1800, President John Adams became the first president to live at the White House.
  • Mount Rushmore is located in the state of North Dakota. It is a large sculpture of the president’s faces carved into the granite. The faces on Mount Rushmore include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
  • It took the sculptor Gutzon Borglum 20 years to complete. He started in 1921 and finished in 1941.
  • In 1939 President Roosevelt became the first president to appear on television.
  • On May 10th, 1877 the first telephone was installed in the White House. President Rutherford Hayes was in office.
  • Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president. He was 6 ft 4 inches.
  • James Madison was the shortest president. He was 5 ft 4 inches.

List of Presidents in Order

  1. George Washington 1789-1797
  2. John Adams 1797-1801
  3. Thomas Jefferson 1801-1809
  4. James Madison 1809-1817
  5. James Monroe 1817-1825
  6. John Quincy Adams 1825-1829
  7. Andrew Jackson 1829-1837
  8. Martin Van Buren 1837-1841
  9. William Henry Harrison 1841-1841
  10. John Taylor 1841-1845
  11. James K. Polk 1845-1849
  12. Zachary Taylor 1849-1850
  13. Millard Fillmore 1850-1853
  14. Franklin Pierce 1853-1857
  15. James Buchanan 1857-1861
  16. Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865
  17. Andrew Johnson 1865-1869
  18. Ulysses S. Grant 1869-1877
  19. Rutherford B. Hayes 1817-1881
  20. James A. Garfield 1881-1881
  21. Chester A. Arthur 1881-1885
  22. Grover Cleveland 1885-1889
  23. Benjamin Harrison 1889-1893
  24. Grover Cleveland 1893-1897
  25. William McKinley 18-97-1901
  26. Theodore Roosevelt 1901-1909
  27. William Howard Taft 1909-1913
  28. Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921
  29. Warren G. Harding 1921-1923
  30. Calvin Coolidge 1923-1929
  31. Herbert Hoover 1929-1933
  32. Franklin D. Roosevelt 1935-1945
  33. Harry Truman 1945-1953
  34. Dwight Eisenhower 1953-1961
  35. John F. Kennedy 1961-1963
  36. Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1969
  37. Richard Nixon 1969-1974
  38. Gerald Ford 1974-1977
  39. Jimmy Carter 1977-1981
  40. Ronald Reagan 1981-1989
  41. George H. W. Bush 1989-1993
  42. Wiliam J. Clinton 1993-2001
  43. George Bush 2001-2009
  44. Barack Obama 2009-2017
  45. Donald J. Trump 2017-2021
  46. Joesph R. Biden 2021-Present