This Presidents' Day, Find Presidential Documents on HeinOnline

  • HeinOnline logo

Presidents' Day, celebrated on the third Monday in February, honors George Washington, America's first president. Officially, the federal government calls Presidents' Day "Washington's Birthday" and at the time of its original enactment in 1879 (20 Stat. 277) it was celebrated on February 22 as a holiday for federal employees in the District of Columbia. In 1885 (23 Stat. 516) it expanded to all federal employees, including those outside of D.C., and in 1968 (P.L. 90-363) the date was changed to the third Monday in February.

Each state treats Presidents' Day differently. In Pennsylvania, the third Monday in February is called Presidents' Day (44 P.S. § 11) and in New Jersey it is called Washington's Birthday (N.J.S.A. § 36:1-1). New York separates out Washington's Birthday, celebrated on the third Monday in February, from Lincoln's Birthday, celebrated February 12 (N.Y. G.C.N. Law § 24). And Delaware doesn't list it as an official state holiday (1 Del.C. § 501).

In celebration of Presidents' Day, check out HeinOnline's U.S. Presidential Library, which has over 350 titles related to all 45 U.S. presidents. Some titles, like The Book of American Presidents (1939) by Esse V. Hathaway and The Presidents of the United States: The First Twenty Years (1993) compiled by John Guidas and Marilyn K. Par, provide short summaries of the presidents' lives and times in office. Others, like The Life of George Washington (1805) by John Marshall, History of the Life and Times of James Madison (1866-1868) by William C. Rives, James K. Polk: A Political Biography (1922) by Eugene Irving McCormac, Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1858 (1928) by Albert J. Beveridge, and The Life of Theodore Roosevelt (1919) by William Draper Lewis are more in-depth biographies of the presidents.

This HeinOnline collection also includes the Daily Complication of Presidential Documents (2009-present) and its predecessor, the Weekly Complication of Presidential Documents (1965-2009), both published by the U.S. Government Printing Office, as well as various presidential addresses, messages, papers, and other writings.

For other resources Jenkins' members can use to access presidential documents, see our Presidential Documents research guide.

For more information on the history of Presidents' Day, see George Washington's Birthday from the The Center for Legislative Archives, part of the National Archives.

More from the blog

HeinOnline recently added a new database to its large collection of legal content. The new Executive Privilege database is designed to help researchers study the implied power of executive privilege. It contains primary and secondary materials relating to executive privilege, including hundreds of...
Tomorrow, August 26, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. After the amendment was passed in the US House and Senate, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify it on August 18, 1920. The...
HeinOnline’s State Constitutions Illustrated is an extensive collection of constitutions and related documents from the 50 states of the United States. The database contains nearly 10,000 current and historical documents, including the text of every constitution that has been in force for every...