Technically it’s not Presidents’ Day, but Washington’s Birthday. In a 1971 speech by Richard Nixon, he referred to Washington’s Birthday as Presidents’ Day, perhaps because Lincoln’s birthday is also in February, or maybe he just wanted to feel included.
Some George Washington facts:
- The very first election was three and a half weeks long. He was elected in 1789 with 100% of the popular vote.
- He did not chop down a cherry tree
- Nor did he have wooden teeth
- George Washington was the only president not to live in the White House, it wasn’t completed until after his death
- Upon his death, Washington gradually emancipated his slaves, but was never politically outspoken against slavery. In fact, he signed two Fugitive Slave Acts (1793 and 1794) On the one hand, he is considered a benevolent slaveholder. He wrote about his moral opposition to slavery in letters, but as a Virginia planter, he also understood their central role in economic life. The result of emancipating slaves could lead to economic ruin, a risk Washington was unable or unwilling to take.
And I’ll just leave this right here: