"PRESIDENTS' DAY" was originally called "WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY", a federal holiday that began in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington. This was the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen and is still called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally, Presidents’ Day was celebrated on February 22; Washington’s actual birthday.
On January 1, 1971, the federal holiday changed to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, as an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.