Presidents Day happens each year on February’s third Monday. This year, that’s February 17.
This holiday was a creation of the seventies. It evolved out of the George Washington’s Birthday holiday, originally dedicated in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 22, 1879. The 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act, signed into law by Nixon, set out to create more long weekends. So, voilà! A Monday holiday, Presidents Day, blended several state days for other presidents, such as Lincoln, together with Washington’s birthday.
Washington’s Birthday had made George Washington the only individual person celebrated with a federal holiday. Upon the formation of Presidents Day, Martin Luther King Jr., whose commemorative day was signed into law in 1983, became the one individual to hold that honor.
Pop trivia quiz: Four presidents were born in February. How many can you name? The answer is at the end of this article.
See What Makes Presidents Day So Special in Philadelphia
Philly’s rich political history makes our city the perfect spot to experience Presidents Day. Here are just a few ways to immerse yourself in it.
There’s a National Historical Park You Need to Visit.
George Washington’s residence at Independence National Historical Park gets lively for the celebration. A big draw is its guided tour held on Saturday of Presidents Day weekend.
Where to go: Portrait Gallery, Second U.S. Bank Building, Chestnut Street between 4th and 5th Streets
When it happens: Feb. 15, at noon until 12.30pm
There's a Letter Written by George Washington You Should See.
The National Museum of American Jewish History has a special Presidents Day Monday planned. Among the most interesting things to see is a letter to the Jewish community from the first president — and a George Washington actor. Kids will enjoy the arts and stories. Through February 29, the museum charges no entrance fee.
Where to go: 101 South Independence Mall East
When it happens: Feb. 17, at 10am until 5pm
And Did You Know Admission to Philly’s National Constitution Center on Presidents Day Is Free?
Check out Presidents Day Weekend at the National Constitution Center. Guests can learn all about the president's job, and check out an original copy of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Dive into the interactive fun, art, president-themed costume contests, stories, and presidential trivia. On Presidents Day (Monday), bring the young folks to the Kids’ Town Hall to meet presidents from the past and vote for the one of their choice in a real voting booth.
Where to go: 525 Arch Street
When it happens: Saturday through Monday, February 15 – 17. Open extra time on Sunday (9:30am until 5). Tickets are general admission Saturday and Sunday. TD Bank sponsors a free admission day on Monday!
Pop trivia quiz answer: Four presidents had February birthdays. In addition to George Washington (Feb. 22), they are: Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12), William Henry Harrison (Feb. 9), and Ronald Reagan (Feb. 6).
Welcome to Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s great neighborhoods are surrounded by U.S. history. Whenever you like, you can get a sense of life when the Constitution was new — right here in 2020!
Looking for well-managed apartments in Philly? Call us at 215.545.1039 to hear about currently available floor plans from Carlyle Property Management.