It’s the 3rd Monday in February and depending on where you live you may or may not be celebrating a holiday today.  While federal government offices close and the majority of state offices do so as well, many businesses make the most of the holiday by offering patriotic-themed sales. Officially, the United States federal government is celebrating Washington’s Birthday, not Presidents’ Day. Washington’s Birthday was originally celebrated on February 22nd, but in 1968 Congress moved the holiday to the 3rd Monday in February, and this created a lot of debate across our great land.  There was a proposal at one time to change the observance from Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day in order to celebrate President Lincoln as well; however this has never come to pass.

State governments set their own holidays, only some of which are the same as federal holidays. Since 1968, most states have opted to observe some form of presidential holiday on this 3rd Monday in February, but exactly what is celebrated varies from state to state. Some celebrate Washington’s Birthday, some celebrate both Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays, while the majority simply celebrate Presidents’ Day (though even the placement of the possessive apostrophe varies). Here’s how things stack up across the land*:

  • States observing some form of Washington, Lincoln or Presidents’ Day = 41
  • States observing a form of this holiday on the 3rd Monday of February = 38**
  • States observing Washington’s Birthday only = 9
  • States observing Presidents’ Day only = 24
  • States not observing any form of this holiday at any time during the year = 9
State Holiday*
Alabama George Washington/Thomas Jefferson Birthday
Alaska President’s Day
Arizona Lincoln/Washington/Presidents’ Day
Arkansas George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day
California President’s Day
Colorado Presidents’ Day
Connecticut Washington’s Birthday
Delaware No holiday observed
Florida No holiday observed
Georgia Washington’s Birthday *Observed on Dec. 24th
Hawaii Presidents’ Day
Idaho Presidents’ Day
Illinois Washington’s Birthday (President’s Day)
Indiana Washington’s Birthday *Observed on Dec. 24th
Iowa No holiday observed
Kansas No holiday observed
Kentucky No holiday observed
Louisiana No holiday observed
Maine Washington’s Birthday/President’s Day
Maryland Presidents’ Day
Massachusetts Washington’s Birthday
Michigan Presidents Day
Minnesota Presidents’ Day
Mississippi George Washington’s Birthday
Missouri Washington’s Birthday
Montana Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthday
Nebraska President’s Day
Nevada Presidents’ Day
New Hampshire Washington’s Birthday
New Jersey Presidents Day
New Mexico Presidents’ Day *Observed day after Thanksgiving
New York Washington’s Birthday
North Carolina No holiday observed
North Dakota Presidents’ Day
Ohio President’s Day
Oklahoma Presidents’ Day
Oregon Presidents’ Day
Pennsylvania Presidents’ Day
Rhode Island No holiday observed
South Carolina George Washington’s Birthday / President’s Day
South Dakota Presidents’ Day
Tennessee Presidents’ Day
Texas Presidents’ Day
Utah Washington and Lincoln Day
Vermont Presidents’ Day
Virginia George Washington Day
Washington Presidents’ Day
West Virginia Presidents Day
Wisconsin No holiday observed
Wyoming President’s Day
table compiled by
*based on 2012 State Holidays listings from individual state government websites
** Georgia and Indiana observe Washington’s Birthday on Dec. 24th; New Mexico observes Presidents’ Day on the Friday after Thanksgiving