In some respects remembered more for President's Day sales than an patriotic observance, Presidents Day originally honored the nation's first president, George Washington, whose birthday falls on February 22nd.
However, through the years both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (who was born on February 12th) have come to be honored on the third Monday in February. This year, President's Day is celebrated on Monday, February 20, 2017.
Today, Washington and Lincoln - and indeed all great US presidents - are honored for leading the country over more than two centuries of American history.
What's open on President's Day?
As an official federal holiday, post offices cancel mail delivery, and stock markets are closed - meaning many consumer and commercial banks follow suit. Around the nation, school children also have the day off as public schools traditionally observe the day as an official holiday.
In hot water?: William Taft
President's Day fun facts
• Heard the story about George Washington's wooden choppers? It's a myth. Throughout his lifetime, the first president was variously fitted with false teeth made from ivory, gold, and even human teeth.
• America's 10th president, James Tyler, had 15 children -- the most of any president. James Buchanan, the 15th US President, was the first unmarried man to be elected president while Ronald Reagen was the first to have been divorced.
• At 5'4", James Madison was our shortest president. Abraham Lincoln was the tallest at 6'4".
• William Taft got stuck in the White House bathtub the first time he used it. A larger one was ordered to better fit his hefty 332 pound frame.
• Rutherford B. Hayes banned beer, wine or any other type of alcohol at the White House. At official functions Mrs. Hayes was known as “Lemonade Lucy.”
• Left-handed Presidents? There have only been eight including James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
• Barack Obama, the first African-American president, collected comic books. His favorites were Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian.
More about Presidents Day around the Web:
Around the Web, check out presidential biographies, portraits, pictures and photo galleries, a virtual Lincoln library, plus kid-friendly resources and clip art, lesson plans, activities & crafts for the special day set aside in February to honor US leaders both past and present ....
Presidents of the United States - Direct from Washington D.C. and part of The White House for Kids site, offering clear, concise biographies and factoids, video clips, coloring pages and online games.
American Presidents: Life Portraits - Archived, in-depth C-Span special with a clickable image gallery, video clips, presidential gravesite details, and comprehensive teacher resources and lesson plans.