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Presidents’ Day: February 20, 2023

Press Release Number CB23-SFS.23

George Washington's Birthday: February 22, 1732


From the National Archives, George Washington's Birthday:

“Washington's Birthday was celebrated on February 22nd until well into the 20th Century. However, in 1968 Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law to ‘provide uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays.’ By creating more 3-day weekends, Congress hoped to ‘bring substantial benefits to both the spiritual and economic life of the Nation.’

“One of the provisions of this act changed the observance of Washington's Birthday from February 22nd to the third Monday in February. Ironically, this guaranteed that the holiday would never be celebrated on Washington's actual birthday, as the third Monday in February cannot fall any later than February 21.

Photo:  Mount Rushmore

“Contrary to popular belief, neither Congress nor the President has ever stipulated that the name of the holiday observed as Washington's Birthday be changed to ‘President's Day.’”

Key Stats

Source: U.S. Census Bureau MAF/TIGER Database (TAB20), Geographic Vintage: 2020 Census.  

Note: One state, not included in the places counts above, matches President Washington, that being Washington State. The U.S. Census Bureau Glossary includes a definition for Minor Civil Divisions (MCD).

More Stats

Sources: Census.gov / History / Through the Decades / Fast Facts and The Library of Congress, U.S. Presidential Inaugurations.

Note: Click on the infographic above for the full-page PDF.  

From Newsroom:

To commemorate Presidents' Day 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau pulled information from its geographic database on the country's 100 most common names of places, minor civil divisions (MCDs) and counties. The following list shows where the last names of various presidents rank on the list (rankings based on "actual name" counts). The "Actual Name" column is based on the number of places, MCDs and counties with just that name alone. The "Total" column includes the "Actual Name" count plus the count in which the name is found within a longer name (such as "Fort Washington”).

Note: The term “places” refers to both incorporated places and census designated places (CDPs). Names of minor civil divisions (MCDs) are primarily the towns and townships from the 12 strong MCD states of Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Also, these places were not necessarily named after the president in some cases, since the entities may have been named before the president was in office.

From the Census Bureau / History:

Outside Links

Page Last Revised - February 21, 2023
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