Members of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Junior Order United American Mechanics sent this 1888 petition to Pennsylvania Representative John Dalzell asking Congress to designate President George Washington’s February 22 birthday a national holiday. It was eventually referred to the Committee on the Judiciary for consideration.
For years Americans informally celebrated Washington’s birthday, until Congress named February 22 a holiday for federal employees in the District of Columbia in 1879. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, designating certain holidays, including Washington’s birthday, for celebration on Mondays. Although “Presidents’ Day” is the official name of the holiday in some states and used popularly, the holiday is known as “George Washington’s Birthday” on the federal calendar.