Old Glory is flying from one end of Wenatchee Avenue to the other in observance of President’s Day, Monday, February 20th. Washington’s Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States, who was born on February 22, 1732. It can occur on the 15th through the 21st of February inclusive. Colloquially, the day is also now widely known as Presidents’ Day and is often an occasion to honor all persons who have served as president, not just George Washington.
The day is a state holiday in most states, with official names including Washington’s Birthday, Presidents’ Day, President’s Day, and Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthday Depending upon the specific law.
George Washington was officially born on February 11, 1731 (Old Style). At the time, the entire British Empire, including its North American possessions, were on the Julian calendar; the Empire, not being bound to the Catholic Church, had not yet adopted the modern Gregorian calendar that Catholic countries had adopted in 1582. Consequently, by the 1730s, the Julian calendar used by Britain and the Colonies was eleven days behind the Gregorian, due to leap year differences. Furthermore, the British civil year began on 25 March rather than 1 January, so that dates in February (such as this one) ‘belonged’ to the preceding year. In 1752, The British Empire switched to the Gregorian calendar; since then, Americans born prior to 1752, including Washington, have typically had their birthdays recognized under what their birthday would have been under the Gregorian calendar (“New Style” dates). Since, during the 1700s, February 11 under the Julian calendar would fall as February 22 on the Gregorian, Washington’s birthday has been generally recognized as February 22.