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A little history behind Presidents Day

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Posted at 7:34 AM, Feb 20, 2023

Monday is presidents day, an official holiday observed every year on the third Monday in February.

Presidents day has a long history -- starting with the nation's first president, George Washington.

In the decades following Washington, death, his birthday was unofficially observed every year.

But in 1879, president Rutherford B. Hayes made it official -- signing it into law to join four existing bank holidays approved in 1870.

Washington's birthday didn't officially become Presidents Day until much later, with the uniform Monday holiday act.

In 1971, under President Richard Nixon, that law shifted Washington's birthday, Columbus Day (now Indigenous People's Day), Memorial Day, and Veterans Day to fall on Mondays.

The goal was to create more three-day weekends in the hope that it would boost productivity on working days.

A short time later, the observance of Washington's birthday became known as Presidents Day.