Presidents Day has its roots in one of the oldest American holiday observances: George Washington's Birthday.
In the final year of George Washington's administration, Americans chose to honor their beloved President by celebrating his birthday. In 1879 Congress declared Washington's Birthday to be a federal holiday observed on February 22.
So how did Washington's Birthday come to be known as Presidents Day?
Urban legend claims that at the time the observance of Washington's Birthday was moved to the third Monday of February, then-President Richard Nixon issued a presidential proclamation dubbing it "President's Day" in honor of all U.S. Presidents, when in fact his proclamation only moved the date of holiday but did not rename it.
In the final decades of the 20th century an increasing number of people embraced the term "Presidents Day" and began celebrating the legacy of all American Presidents. Still, the federal holiday on the third Monday of February legally remains "Washington's Birthday" to this day.