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February 2015 Holidays

In 1879, the 45th Congress of the United States designated February 22 as a federal holiday. The date was chosen because it is the birthday of the first President of the United States, George Washington. On January 1, 1971, in order to comply with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, the holiday was moved to its current location on the third Monday in February.

Before 1789, the year he became the only President in United States history to garner 100% of the Electoral College votes, George Washington cemented his leadership credentials as the General of the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War against the British Empire. George Washington is regarded by many historians as a humble leader who eschewed vanity and personal promotion to instead find value in deepening his own personal character. Having been elected, but feeling the weight of leading this new republic almost upon him, he remarked to his friend and former comrade-in-arms Major General Henry Knox, “Movements to the chair of government will be accompanied with feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution.” George Washington humbly took the office of President at the age of 57. Despite considerable public and political pressure to retain the office for a third term, Washington resigned from office in 1797 after (2) 4-year terms, thus setting a precedent for U.S. Presidents after him. Washington died in December 1799, two years after leaving office.

More public and legal holidays can be found on our 2015 Federal Holiday Calendar.