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A presidential impersonator in Fair Oaks


What day is today? Some have Monday off for Presidents Day, some have it off for Washington’s Birthday; what does California celebrate? All of them.

Federal offices are closed Monday because it’s Washington’s Birthday, a holiday to honor the first U.S. president, George Washington.

Here’s what the National Archives says on its website:

“This holiday is designated as ‘Washington’s Birthday.’ Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is Federal policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.”

Washington’s actual birthday was February 22, and that’s when the holiday was originally celebrated. However, in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which designated the third Monday in February as Washington’s Birthday, beginning in 1971.

The Presidents Day moniker evolved later, at least partly to honor Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday was February 12, but some hoped it could be a day to honor all presidents.

In California, government code section 6700-6724, which lists official state holidays, includes two holidays in February: “February 12th, known as ‘Lincoln Day’, and the third Monday in February”.

That’s right. The Golden State shuts down government offices and recognizes both Lincoln’s Birthday and the third Monday, but does not clarify what that latter holiday is called.

Some offices, like the Judicial Branch and state court system, call the third Monday holiday “Washington’s Birthday”.

The Department of Motor Vehicles, and others, have decided to not go along with the state, and only recognizes Presidents Day on the third Monday of February.

No matter what it’s called, for those who have Monday off, enjoy.

Brad Lendon with CNN contributed to this report