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US Observes Former Presidents' Birthdays

Millions of Americans are getting a day off from work for the U.S. observance of George Washington's Birthday, although the holiday is often referred to as Presidents' Day.

February is the birth month of two of the most respected U.S. presidents - George Washington (1732) and Abraham Lincoln (1809). The holiday was first officially celebrated in 1885 to honor Washington's birthday on February 22nd. He was the country's first president.

Americans in many states also celebrated Lincoln's February 12th birthday after his assassination, just days after the end of civil war in 1865. But it is not a federal holiday.

U.S. Congress passed an act in 1968 that made the third Monday in February the official observance of Washington's birthday.

However, Americans consider what has become known as Presidents' Day as a celebration to honor both Washington and Lincoln.