Celebrating Presidents' Day with Abraham Lincoln and George Washington

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Bonnie Hein

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Washington's Birthday or Presidents' Day?

The American holiday of Presidents' Day was originally established in 1885 in recognition of the first President of the United States, George Washington. It was officially called Washington's Birthday and observed as a federal holiday on February 22nd, Washington's actual day of birth. Washington's Birthday was the first federal holiday celebrating the life of an individual American, joining only four national bank holidays – Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving.

It became popularly known as Presidents' Day after it was moved by the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act (82 Stat. 250) in order to create more three day weekends for American workers and increase retail and tourism revenue.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, was born on February 12, 1809. As his birthday was already a holiday in some states (Illinois), the Act was also said to have the intent to combine the celebration of both President Washington and Lincoln's birthdays, giving recognition to two of America's most famous statesmen.

In popular culture, Presidents' Day has shifted in from its origin of recognizing only Washington's birthday and now is commonly known as a day to recognize the lives of American presidents generally, and to take advantage of retail sales. However, the federal government has remained true to the original incarnation of the holiday, with the third Monday in February still listed on official calendars as Washington’s Birthday.

Find more on George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in HeinOnline

Search across the full text of all subscribed HeinOnline libraries by entering "Abraham Lincoln" OR "President Lincoln" OR "George Washington" OR "President Washington" in the main search bar under the Full Text tab:

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Our search results include more than 192,000 results including more than 65,000 results from the Law Journal Library and nearly 51,000 results from U.S. Congressional Documents.

Search the full text within the U.S. Presidential Library for all content related George Washington. Note the phrases George Washington and President Washington are in quotation marks and connected by the Boolean operator in all capital letters in order to search for different versions:

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Click here to view nearly 4,000 results. You may further narrow your results using the facets on the left side of the screen.

To locate content in the U.S. Presidential Library authored by George Washington, click the Advanced Search tool located under the Full Text search bar and enter Washington, George in the Creator/Author drop-down menu search option:

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Click here to view the results.

Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th President of the United States from 1861 until his assassination by John Wilkes Booth in 1865. President Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War and is arguably most well-known for abolishing slavery, as well as preserving the Union and strengthening the federal government.

Click the Catalog tab in the main search bar on any page in HeinOnline to search the entire HeinOnline catalog for titles for related to President Lincoln. This option will search across all publications by title, author, publisher, and all HeinOnline MARC records. Again, the phrases Abraham Lincoln and President Lincoln are in quotation marks and connected by the Boolean operator in all capital letters in order to search for different versions:

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Search results will include publication information, a list of the collections in which the title can be found, and links to more information and MARC records. Narrow search results using the facets on the left side of the screen. As the catalog does include all HeinOnline titles, you may see results from collections to which you do not currently subscribe.

Don't forget to search the catalog for titles related to President Washington; click here to see results.

Check out HeinOnline's Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law for more information on Abraham Lincoln. Click the Advanced Search tool located below the Full Text search bar. Search the full text for emancipation OR slave under the topic of Abraham Lincoln and anti-slavery position:

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Click here to view the 111 results within these search parameters.

Search the full text within the HeinOnline's Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law for all content related President Lincoln. Note the phrases  the phrases Abraham Lincoln and President Lincoln are in quotation marks and connected by the Boolean operator in all capital letters in order to search for different versions:

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You may further narrow your results by document type, topic, position, jurisdiction, titles, and dates using the facets on the left side of the screen.  You will also find mentions of George Washington in the Slavery collection by searching for his name!

Both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln had a profound impact on the history of the United States. Be sure to start your presidential research with HeinOnline. In honor of Presidents' Day and the 45 presidents, we are now offering a risk-free trial of any HeinOnline database for 45 days!

Please contact our support team at (800) 277-6995, email us, or chat with us for additional assistance searching and navigating in HeinOnline.

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