Presidents' Day is intended to honor all the American presidents, but two presidents actually had birthdays in February - George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Prior to 1968, the birthdays of both men were celebrated as separate holidays, although only Washington's birthday was celebrated as a federal holiday. In 1968 Congress created a uniform system of federal Monday holidays. They voted to shift the federal holiday celebrating Washington's birthday to the third Monday in February. Some states decided to call the holiday Presidents' day, and today that is the name commonly used for the holiday.
February 12 is Abraham Lincoln's Birthday
In 1862 Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the US Department of Agriculture.
Students research online to find more about the establishment of the US Department of Agriculture in 1862.
February 22 is George Washington's Birthday
George Washington is known as the father of our country, but his great love was agriculture. He was happiest when conducting agricultural experiments on his farm at Mt. Vernon.
Students research online to find some of the contributions George Washington made to agriculture through his experiments.
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Smart Board Acitivity page
- George Washington's Favorite Song: The Darby Ram
- The Darby Ram performed
- Farmer George Plants a Nation (Presentation of book by Peggy Thomas)
- Presidents' Occupations: How many presidents had jobs before or after they were in office that were related to agriculture (farmer, rancher, planter, etc.)
- Seven Presidents Who Farmed (Modern Farmer)
- Write a story, beginning with this sentence: "George Washington did not chop down the cherry tree."
- Write a letter to the president explaining why agriculture is important.