Every year on the third Monday of February, our government recognizes two presidents whose birthdays fall in this month as well as all past Presidents of the United States of America.
Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were most commonly celebrated by Americans on the anniversary of their birthdays- Lincoln on Feb. 12 and Washington on Feb. 22 for many years. It wasn't until 1971 when President Richard Nixon declared the third Monday in February the day that all past presidents are celebrated together on one federal holiday now known as Presidents Day.
Although all presidents are now recognized on one federal holiday, Washington and Lincoln are still the most commonly celebrated across America, according to the National & State Parks Guide.
The National Capital Region offers more than enough locations celebrating the great leaders our nation.
The country's largest Presidents Day Parade will be held in Old Town Alexandria, Va., Feb. 20, throughout the streets where Washington once walked.
Mount Vernon, George and Martha Washington's mansion just outside D.C., honors him with a birthday celebration weekend and offers a fee-free day.
The George Washington Birthplace National Monument near Fredericksburg, Va., holds an annual birthday celebration on President's Day and his actual birthday.
Additionally, the National Mall in D.C. provides a number of walking memorials of great presidents who once led our nation.
A tribute to Gen. George Washington, who created the first military badge of merit for the common soldier, was revived on Washington's 200th birthday in 1932. The Purple Heart, which bears Washington's image, is awarded to soldiers who are injured in battle, and as with Memorial Day or Veterans Day, Washington's birthday offers another opportunity to honor the country's military members both past and present.
So on Presidents Day, who do we celebrate? Washington, Lincoln, all U.S. presidents, or is it just another day off from work? Although some choose to stick to the more traditional route of just honoring President Washington, take this year to recognize all of our great leaders who we once called--or do now call-- President of the United States of America.