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February 18, 2013
City offices close for President's Day
Monday, February 18
An early draft of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act would have renamed the holiday to "Presidents' Day" to honor the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln, which would explain why the chosen date falls between the two, but this proposal failed in committee and the bill as voted on and signed into law on June 28, 1968, kept the name Washington's Birthday.
Uniform Monday Holiday Act
(Pub.L. 90-363) is an Act of Congress that amended the federal holiday provisions of the United States Code to establish the observance of certain holidays on Mondays. The Act was signed into law on June 28, 1968 and took effect on January 1, 1971.
The Act moved Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day from fixed dates to designated Mondays. The Act was designed to increase the number of three-day weekends for federal employees. Veterans Day was removed from this list of always-on-Monday holidays when it was moved back to its traditional date of November 11, by act of Congress in 1975, effective 1978.
Contrary to popular perception, the Act did not officially establish "Presidents Day", nor did it combine the observance of Lincoln's Birthday with Washington's Birthday. The perception stems from the fact that the act placed federal observance of Washington's "birthday" in the week of February 15 to 21 and, since that week always falls between Lincoln's birthday (February 12) and Washington's (February 22), but never includes either date, popular references have given rise to the title, which recognizes both Presidents.
The Monday holiday dates this act established are:
Washington's Birthday: third Monday in February (formerly February 22)
Memorial Day: last Monday in May (formerly May 30)
Columbus Day: second Monday in October (formerly observed on October 12)
Veterans Day: fourth Monday in October (formerly November 11 and subsequently moved back to November 11 effective 1978)
Though the holiday was not in existence at the time, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (established 1983) is celebrated on the third Monday in January, instead of King's actual birth date, January 15, for the same reasons.
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