Presidents Day Fun Facts
Washington's Birthday, the name President's Day is officially known as, is celebrated on the third Monday of each February. Some fun facts about President's Day are listed below.
Fun Facts About President's Day
- The only President elected unanimously is George Washington, the first President of the United States. Washington was voted President by the State Representatives. He served as President from 1789 to 1797. President's Day was established in 1885 to celebrate Washington's Birthday. Washington's birthday was 22 February 1732, meaning this year would have been his 288th birthday.
- Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States, serving from 1829 to 1837. He was shot in the chest during a gun duel but remained standing to shoot and kill his dueling partner. The bullet stayed in Jackson's chest for the next 40 years as it was not safe to remove it.
- Just 32 days after becoming the ninth President of the United States in 1841, William Henry Harrison died. He became sick after standing in the rain to give his inauguration speech. Although some sources suggest he died as a result of a cold he caught on Inauguration day; it is more likely he died from typhoid, pneumonia, or paratyphoid fever. Recently, suggestions have been made that Harrison in fact fell prey to the Washington sewerage system. A giant field of excrement was located upstream from the White House and it has been suggested that it was bacteria in the water supply that killed Harrison.
- President's Day was celebrated on Washington's birth date the 22 February each year until 1971, when it was moved to the third Monday of February of each year under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which was part of a plan to give workers more three day weekends.
- President's Day is one of the big retail shopping days of the year. The day falls on a slow patch for the retail industry, so a heavy investment has been made by retailers advertising sales and discounts to get people into their stores. Historically, February is the worst month in the calendar year for sales. It was, in fact, retailers that coined the name President's Day. Eventually, the name stuck, and Washington's Birthday Holiday became known commonly as President's Day.
- When Washington's birthday first became a Federal holiday in 1885, the day became the first holiday in the United States to celebrate an individual. It took another 98 years, before Martin Luther King Jr became the second, President's Day is still officially called Washington's Birthday by the Federal Government. Washington's farewell address is still read each year on 22 February in the United States Senate.
- In 1968, the government contemplated renaming Washington's Birthday Holiday, President's Day, so that Abraham Lincoln's birthday was included. The proposal did not make it past the committee stages. Lincoln's birthday was 12 February 1809, meaning this year would have been his 211th birthday.
- President's Day will never fall on the actual birthday of a US President. However, four US Presidents were born in February. They are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, William Henry Harrison, and Ronald Reagan.
- Although moves to have President's Day changed to celebrate Abrahan Lincoln's birthday as well failed, the day has become a celebration of Lincoln's birthday as much as Wahington's. Several states celebrate Lincoln's birthday on 12 February each year. The birthplaces of Washington and Lincoln have been turned into a National Monument and a National Park, respectively. The last birthplace of a President to become a National Park was the birthplace of William Jefferson Clinton.
- Mount Rushmore has become known for celebrating the lives of four US Presidents, Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Roosevelt, but a little known fact is that Mount Rushmore could have had five faces. A bill was introduced to have Susan B Grant's face added, but it was never passed. Susan B Grant is one of the suffragettes and given much of the credit for getting women the right to vote.