(BRPROUD) – The holiday most American’s call “President’s Day” is officially known as “George Washington’s Birthday” and was first designated as a federal holiday in 1879.

From then until 1971 the first American president’s birthday was celebrated on February 22, George Washington’s birthday according to the Gregorian calendar.

In 1971 congress moved the celebration of George Washington’s birthday and two other federal holidays to permanently be on Mondays. George Washington’s birthday now happens on the third Monday of every February, which means it can never take place on George Washington’s actual birthday.

The holidays were moved to allow workers in the country to enjoy long weekends. In signing the Uniform Monday Holiday Act President Lyndon B. Johnson tried to encourage Americans to use the time for leisure.

“The bill that we sign today will help Americans to enjoy more fully the country that is their magnificent heritage. It will also aid the work of Government and bring new efficiency to our economy…

This will mean a great deal to our families and our children. It will enable families who live some distance apart to spend more time together. Americans will be able to travel farther and see more of this beautiful land of ours. They will be able to participate in a wider range of recreational and cultural activities…

The private employer will enjoy similar gains in efficiency. The Monday holiday will stimulate greater industrial and commercial production, sparing business and labor the penalty of midweek shutdowns.”

– Pres. Johnson, June 28, 1968

Johnson’s vision isn’t exactly playing out as planned. While federal employees do enjoy a mandated break, just under 40% of employers give workers the day off for George Washington’s Birthday, according to a 2017 survey,