We are OPEN on President's Day

Presidents Day illustration with American flag

Will the Alachua County Library District be open on President's Day? Yes, we will be open for President's Day.

President's Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February. It is officially known as Washington’s Birthday. Each state may call it what they want and has the choice of making it a state holiday or not. George Washington died in 1799 and his birthday was unofficially celebrated by many for years. In 1879, President Hayes signed a proposed law to make Feb. 22 a national holiday. At the time it only applied to the District of Columbia, but in 1885, President Arthur made it a national holiday. Washington’s Birthday became the fifth federal holiday, the other four being: New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. It was the first federal holiday to celebrate an individual American. There wasn’t another such federal holiday until 1983, when President Reagan signed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day into law, to begin in 1986.

In 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act went into effect. It moved some holidays to Mondays to create three-day weekends and made Columbus Day a federal holiday. The Bill was backed by businesses and labor unions to boost retail sales and stem absenteeism. Since Lincoln’s birthday is Feb.12, it was proposed that Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays be celebrated together and the holiday be renamed Presidents’ Day. That measure did not pass, so it remained Washington’s Birthday, but was moved to the third Monday of February. The Act also included moving Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day to Mondays. In 1978, due to widespread criticism, Veterans Day was moved back to its original date of Nov. 11. By the 2000s, half of the states had changed the name to Presidents’ Day. While each state may celebrate just one president or several, Presidents’ Day is known for patriotic celebrations, special sales, and the closing of the post office, banks, and federal buildings.

Want to learn more about our chief executives? Click on a president’s name or visit Gale in Context: Biography.

Presidents #1-15
Presidents #16-30
Presidents #31-46

Try these titles to compare and contrast presidents:

Try these titles to learn about the people (and pets) that surround a president:


Factual information from History. Images of presidents from The White House.

By BethN on February 15, 2024