Washington’s Birthday, also known as Presidents’ Day, is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of February. The day honors presidents of the United States, including George Washington, the USA’s first president.
Washington’s Birthday officially honors the life and work of George Washington, the first president of the United States. The day commemorates past presidents of the USA. Washington’s Birthday is sometimes known as Presidents’ Day. This is because while most states have adopted Washington’s Birthday, some states officially celebrate Presidents’ Day.
Well, according to the federal government, the holiday observed on the third Monday in February is officially Washington’s Birthday. But many Americans believe that this holiday is now called “Presidents’ Day,” in honor of both Presidents Washington and Lincoln, whose birthdays are Feb. 22 and Feb. 12, respectively. It turns out that whether you honor one or the other or both of these presidents may depend on where you live.
The states are not obliged to adopt federal holidays, which only affect federal offices and agencies. While most states have adopted Washington’s Birthday, a dozen of them officially celebrate Presidents’ Day. A number of the states that celebrate Washington’s Birthday also recognize Lincoln’s Birthday as a separate legal holiday.
Americans celebrated Washington’s Birthday long before Congress declared it a federal holiday. The centennial of his birth prompted festivities nationally and Congress established a Joint Committee to arrange for the occasion.
U.S. financial markets will pause Monday in observance of Presidents Day — which, technically, is not the name of the holiday.
The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will shutter on Feb. 18. And the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or Sifma, is recommending no trading in dollar-denominated securities, meaning the closely watched 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.00% — as well as interest rates for money markets and certificates of deposit — joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.74% , the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.09% and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.61% in a static state.
And trading in futures and options on CME Group exchanges will also be halted on Monday. In other words, there will be no settlements in trading in gold futures GCJ9, +0.84% or crude oil CLH9, +2.54% However, traders will be able to deal in commodities on the Globex platform, with a pause starting after 1 p.m. Eastern time.
At the recommendation of the Committee, chaired by Henry Clay of the Senate and Philemon Thomas of the House, Congress adjourned on February 22, 1832 out of respect for Washington’s memory and in commemoration of his birth.
Prompted by a memorial from the mayor and other citizens of Philadelphia, the House and Senate commemorated the 130th Anniversary of Washington’s birth by reading aloud his Farewell Address.