Who would have suspected in 1732 that a birth in Westmoreland County, Virginia would still be celebrated today?

For over 200 years, celebrations honoring George Washington's birth have been a cornerstone of national holidays rivaling holidays such as the Fourth of July.

The first known celebrations of Washington's birth were held in 1778 and  1781. A group of drummers and fifers from Proctor's Artillery gathered in front of their commander in chief's quarters to serenade him on his birthday at Valley Forge in 1778. In 1781, the Comte de Rochambeau ordered the celebration for the French forces fighting in the Revolution. 

Massachusetts was the first state to officially celebrate Washington’s birthday as a holiday, in 1856. The date became a legal work holiday for all Federal employees in 1885. 

Today, the third Monday of February is still officially recognized and celebrated as George Washington's Birthday.


How did George Washington Celebrate his Birthday?

How did George Washington Celebrate his Birthday?

Though George Washington did not mention celebrating his birthday in his writings, the date became a popular celebration in the United States during his lifetime. Birthnight balls, parades, and ceremonies were all popular ways to celebrate Washington's birth.

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George vs George

George vs George

Can you match the right George to each question? Test your knowledge with our game comparing about George Washington and King George III.

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Reading the News

Reading the News

This worksheet encourages students to read and source an article reporting on a celebration of George Washington's birthday from the Massachusetts Gazette from 1787. 

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