Yup, there’s no such holiday as President’s Day – at least officially. It’s just Congress’ way of making Washington’s birthday fit a three day weekend.(Really – see Section 6103(a) of Title 5 of the United States Code).
Washington’s birthday was a major holiday in the U.S. long before the Civil War, it was formalized as a Federal holiday in the 1880’s, it took an act of Congress in the late 1960’s to muddle the waters. When the push started to have national three day weekend holidays, Illinois tried to roll Lincoln’s Birthday into Washington’s with the 2 President inclusive label of ‘President’s Day’. Unsurprisingly -it being only a hundred years or so since ‘the late unpleasantness’ – Virginia blocked it in the House of Representatives. The third Monday of February holidayremained Washington’s Birthday, Lincoln’s Birthday remains as it was – a state by state optional holiday, never a Federal holiday (for obvious reasons- see the Lost Causers, Andrew Napolitano-type Lincoln as war criminal, etc).
Interestingly, Presidents since the 1968 Act don’t seem in a hurry to correct those who refer to President’s Day, opting instead to embrace the all inclusive, let’s celebrate all the Presidents Day.
Warren G. Harding, he gets a trophy even though he wandered around behind the bench picking daisies while the others played;
William H. Harrison, he showed up for two practices and one game, but he wanted to be there;
John Tyler …. even though after election he was the other team’s most valuable player . . .
Could do this all day…. but that would be a waste of a nice, sunny, Washington’s Birthday . . .