(NEWS CENTER) - The third Monday in February is a federal holiday to honor one President of the United States: George Washington.
According to the National Archive, in the late 1870s, lawmakers set in motion the idea to make a federal holiday out of Washington's birthdate, February 22nd. He was the first citizen to have his birth turned into a federal holiday.
For decades the holiday was celebrated on the 22nd until the passage of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act took effect in 1971. During that process, a Representative from Illinois, Robert McCrory, fought to have the holiday renamed to "Presidents Day" so people might remember Abraham Lincoln on the date as well.
But during the negotiations, the 3rd Monday in February was selected for the celebratory day. That made it so the holiday would never fall on either Lincoln or Washington's birthday, as the third Monday of any month will always fall between the 15th and the 21st.
State and Local governments have elected to call the holiday a number of names, Washington's Birthday, Presidents' Day and Washington/Lincoln's Birthday among them.
In Maine, the Bureau of Human Resources lists the holiday as "Washington's Birthday/President's Day" but legislative statutes call it simply "Washington's Birthday."