Both Presidents Day and George Washington's birthday always are celebrated on the third Monday of February, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.
The story of Presidents Day begins in 1800. Following Washington’s death in 1799, his Feb. 22 birthday became a day of remembrance. At the time, Washington was venerated as the most important figure in American history, and events like the 1832 centennial of his birth and the start of construction of the Washington Monument in 1848 were cause for national celebration.
The federal holiday is actually called George Washington's Birthday. Certain states, however, list the holiday as Presidents Day, to cover all of the presidents' birthdays.
The son of a prosperous planter, Washington was raised in Colonial Virginia. As a young man, he worked as a surveyor then fought in the French and Indian War. During the American Revolution, he led the Colonial forces to victory against the British and became a national hero. In 1787, he was elected president of the convention that wrote the U.S. Constitution. Two years later, Washington became America’s first president.
According to the Old Farmer's Almanac:
- Everyone believes Washington chopped down a cherry tree and then admitted his wrongdoing by saying to his father, “I can not tell a lie." He didn’t say it; he didn’t even chop down the tree. Parson Mason Weems, one of Washington’s biographers, made up the story, to demonstrate Washington’s honesty.
- He didn't have wooden dentures. They weren’t made of wood, instead, they were made of hippopotamus teeth that had been filed down to fit Washington’s mouth.