February 20th, 2012
02:26 PM ET
(CNN) - Count the first lady among those who may not know the official name of today’s holiday.
Michelle Obama wished her famous husband a “Happy President’s Day” on twitter earlier Monday, declaring @BarackObama her “personal favorite.” The tweet was signed “-MO,” which the Obama campaign has said means it comes from the first lady directly.
The only problem? There is no such thing as Presidents Day. The official name of the holiday is “Washington’s Birthday,” according to the Office of Personnel Management, the agency in charge of federal employees.
“Washington’s Birthday” (his actual birthday is February 22) was declared a federal holiday in the late 1800’s and moved to the third Monday of February in the 1970’s. There have since been various failed congressional attempts to rename the holiday “President’s Day” to also honor Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is February 12.
Few, including the first lady, refer to today as Washington’s Birthday thanks to the scores of car dealerships, mattress sellers, and other retailers who long ago determined “President’s Day sale” rolls off the tongue easier.
– CNN’s Larry Shaughnessy contributed to this report
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