February 20th, 2012
02:26 PM ET

Note to Michelle Obama: It’s ‘Washington’s Birthday’

(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

Topics: Michelle Obama • The Buzz • The Family

soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. SB

    It is on my calendar, pre-printed as President's Day. So who really cares what she calls it?

    February 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • DLN

      Well, if it's "pre-printed," it HAS to be right!

      February 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
      • SB

        Yea, because that's what I was trying to say....moron. But if calendars and institutions alike call the day "President's Day", then why should we hold anyone, including the FLOTUS, to a higher standard and badger them for calling it President's Day instead of Washington's Birthday?

        February 22, 2012 at 10:55 am |
      • 1FreeWorld

        Lesa Jansen is like a Commie News Paper!

        She is Anti-1st Ammendment,,

        No FREE SPEECH,,,

        Cut off the 99%'ers at the knees and
        DO NOT ALLOW THE 99%er's a chance to Speak-UP!

        She is in bed with the Rats!

        Imagine if you will,,,,

        On a Planet close to the Sun,,,,

        Just 3 Planets away from the Sun,,,

        There were folks looking for Drama,,,,

        Such that those folks wanted to Hope and Change that Planet,
        to something else,

        What would you do?????


        As a Freedom Lover,,,,

        would you remove the button (Such as removing CABLE NEWS -- DRAMA)
        would you remove ESPN and DISCOVERY and DISNEY CHANNELS?????

        or would you allow Free Speech ,,,,,
        and then LEARN....

        That DRAMA is not really what it is hyped?

        April 15, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Central Park West

      I totally agree – this is a cheep punch at America's First Lady if every I saw one! Take your beef with the days of the week elsewhere!

      February 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        Here is a Black Man's SALUTE to the Black History Month!

        Just watch...

        A lot of Black Congress Men are finally Recognised!

        Thank you Congressman West!


        All Americans are Free today because of Freedom Fighters such as Congressman West!

        February 29, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        Black Americans that have Built Freedom for All!

        Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness (No Socializm Here),,,,

        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FACecpfY_HA&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3%5D

        February 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        Oooops,,, See below!


        February 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        Redistribution of Wealth Defined!

        Another Black Person against Marxist/DemocRATS!


        February 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        Let us see this one now.

        Morre Blacks that are NOT with Michelle, Pelosi, Reid, Shummer, Jimma Carter, Slick Willy, Hillary, or wHoseHinnie!


        February 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        For a little Humor!


        February 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        At minute 3:25 Sonja Speaks about the Hood!

        Look for Alphonso a little later!

        God Bless AMERICA!


        February 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        This is not a Free Country for Hispanics or Folks of Color!

        Just watch the following!


        February 29, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        Ok, Ok, Ok,,,

        Here is the 2nd Part of the 4 Part Youtube!


        February 29, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • jean2009

      If the Presidents' Birthday holiday was solely for President George Washington it should be on February 22nd, and the apostrophe should be placed before the "s" not after. My pre-printed calendar states Presidents' Day not President's Day. Also the local banks closed for Presidents' Day. That is what the sign on the door states....guess the First Lady is not the only one wrong so are 99% of Americans.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        I cannot fill up my car's GAS Tank!

        I have to fill my tank $7, $10, $20, $25, $28 at a time,,,,


        Currently, it will probably cost $65 to $75 to fill up my Car's Gas Tank!

        When it should be a simple $30 to $35 to fill up my Car's Gas Tank !!!!!!!

        O Bummer!

        How are the Poorer-than-Me,,, able to Afford to buy Gas for their cars?????

        New Program to help all the NASA Folks in Foreclosure!

        Help the NASA FOLKS NOW!

        Homes close to Cape Kennedy are in Foreclosure!

        Obama is in this video! YAY!


        ABO 2012 !!!! Anybody But Obama 2012 !!!!

        April 17, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • racegirl1

      I'll tell you who care the right wing tea nut republicans. They watch everything these two people do and can't wait to catch them saying or doing something incorrect. These people have got to have the brain the size of a fly and the intelligence of a roach.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
      • Tara

        racegirl, get over yourself. Not all Republicans are hateful, bigoted jerks who like to rip on the current administration. I don't care for either of the Obamas, but I am appalled that CNN is actually reporting this. It's stupid. It's a pathetic excuse for a 'news' story, and I'm already regretting the minutes I spent reading it. But to paint all Republicans (or ANY group of people, for that matter) with one brush is just unfair. Grow up a little, will you?

        February 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
      • Aussie Farmer

        So what you are saying is compared to democrats they are geniuses. Crawl back to your city sewer racegirl.

        February 21, 2012 at 12:22 am |
      • 1FreeWorld

        It might be time to visit Liberal Blogs and Web Sites.

        Can you guys tell me where, a Warrior, such as the many folks here have shown, should go to get fewer and fewer folks to agree with the white/Kenyan?

        Or was that the 1/32nd Cherokee/American (The Lady,,, ahem,,, person losing in her attempted Entitled Senate Seat?)

        It looks like our work here is done!
        Only Bowling Retards are Here (Obummer bowls like a retard)

        Oh, white/Kenyan is Obummer,,,,

        You may know of the white/Hispanic.
        You may know about the 1/32 white/Native American (losing her Senate Race!)

        May 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • truindep

      just gives you an idea of , how out of touch she really is, or (egocentric)

      February 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • LeeMulcahy

      Obama’s family is spending the night 4 blocks from house here in Aspen. I am an 8th generation Texan: My great great grandfather founded Baylor University with the Republic of Texas. As one of the leaders of the Tea Party in Aspen,I am currently banned for speaking out from the Aspen Art Museum’s City of Aspen property and National Forest leased by the billionaire Crown family from Chicago.

      Can u say carpetbaggers?

      What the occupy & the tea party movements have in common is the message of: “Enough!” or “Dear oversized federal govt [=1%], Be fair. Treat us with dignity.”

      I’d like to walk the 4 blocks over to my neighbor billionaire Paula Crown’s house [owner Aspen Ski Co/JP Morgan Chase.....] with a big fat Texas white trash sign on my pickup & park it in front of her gate like they do in real democracies down in South America that says:

      Dear Michelle Obama,

      Hope u r having fun skiing @ my neighbor’s “rustic” Petit Trianon. Are u talking art? [ROFL: Paula is on the Presidential Arts Committee & banned from Aspen Skico property [including leased public land]: a song, a singer, a local newspaper and a whistleblower.] Or are they chatting weapons? [not so ROFL: The Crowns' big $ is General Dynamics, a merchant of death that sells to both sides.] What’s the name of that song Skico banned?

      I’m gonna B frank. We’ve figured u elites out. Game’s up.

      If you take a walk in our beautiful town, I’d suggest u take a left on Tiehack and go 3 blocks 2 my house & see the sculpture we made during out meeting [all 27 of us in occupy aspen—lots of tea partyers now]. The art has lots of references to the Revolution, both American &…. French. We even made a guillotine and hung a Barbie from the 3rd floor window. Your host, our local Marie Antoinette, is featured holding your husband by puppet strings. Paula tried to get the last sculpture of her commissioned by the City removed—it was public art in a public place—really LOL —the City sent me a letter pleading with me to remove it. I said no. It gets funnier. The City copied two VP’s & a CEO from Skico on it.

      Can u say company town?

      However, your husband signed a law that allows him to send Americans 2 Guantanamo without trial without warrant without limits on time….& I prefer my community here in Aspen to Cuba so I resort to the power of the net. Besides, the hardware store gossip was that the X-tra visitors in town looked like Chicago thugs, not the Crown Royals —the Secret Service.

      My European friends remark: u Americans are free…to do what they tell you.

      Ironically, the Aspen Art Museum summed it up nicely in a recent exhibition on Crown owned property: AMERIKA

      It’s time 4 us little people 2 unite: occupy the tea party.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:33 am |
      • Susie

        Unfortunately, the obamas and the rest of the elites fail to recognize that history repeats itself. They all remind me of carpetbaggers. Picking the last vestige of financial wealth in our country that has not already been stolen. But, in order to enjoy it they will all have to leave the country. It would be too in your face to live here with everyone knowing they had gotten the bulk of their wealth from the hardworking taxpayers and the rest of the country in poverty. What is pretty amazing is the number of dems that think these two hung the moon when they are taking them for a ride. 45 million people on foodstamps. I guess for the ones living off the taxpayers, having a marginal kind of life is fine. What a shame that they have settled for the kind of life the democrat party has to offer them. Nothing but misery and despair.

        February 22, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Frank

      Mine too. The write has to be a racist who is part of the T-Party. He should be fired like the ESPN guy yesterday for what he said about Jeremy Lin. This is racism straight up.

      February 21, 2012 at 6:19 am |
    • talshar

      It's Presidents day to me.
      Note to Alexander the not so great -> Get a life.

      February 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  2. Arden Cogar

    If today is only a celebration of the birth of George Washington, then are we just ignoring the birth of Abraham Lincoln ? When I was a small child I can remember we celebrated both but then we declared ONE holiday to acknowledge both births and this is not something that was decided by car dealers, etc.. I recall this as a decision made by the federal government.
    Please check your sources to which of us is correct.

    February 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • chiuckie

      you are.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • SOLEIL888


      February 21, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  3. MD

    Obama may be her favorite, but he's been a disaster for a majority of Americans.

    February 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • racegirl1

      The hate is eating you up inside isn't it, well after his next four years all of you can go back to the farm where all of you belong.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
      • Aussie Farmer

        Without farms, clueless people like you wouldn't be able to eat, to live. Perhaps farmers like me should stop growing food for the ungrateful self-righteous entitled parasites (that's you).

        February 21, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • John

      racegirl – it seems you are the hatefilled one here. I'm just saying. You "all inclusive libs" are not very tolerent of others or others views. It doesn't surprise anyone. I just wanted to point out the hate coming from the left.
      The libs try to deflect their hate by posting that others are hateful.
      Heck, one can't even speak English anymore without getting fired for it. The chickens have come home to roost for the Liberal hate Police.

      February 21, 2012 at 7:11 am |
      • jean2009

        First you would need t to have a sound view and then post reasonable facts with linked sources....not just unfounded lies and racist comments.

        The last time I checked President is singular, and Presidents is plural. My calendar states Presidents' which is plural possessive.


        February 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Linda

      Its the party of 'no' Republicans who sign a pledge to a private idiot rather than uphold their sworn pledge to uphold the Constitution who are the disaster! Stop spreading the right wing nut talking points and do some research.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  4. Linda

    It has been changed to President's Day a long time ago. Get real! Instead of having both birthdays off, we only celebrate one as Presdents Day.
    Can anyone tell the truth anymore?

    February 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • DLN

      Sorry, Linda, but you're flat-out wrong.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
      • Linda

        Do some research! You are the one who is flat wrong!
        Anything to spread hate and lies = the Republican way, You should be ashamed as should the writer of this article.

        February 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  5. WIMPY38


    February 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  6. Scott

    What is the point of attacking the First Lady over something like this? There is literally no one I know that calls today "Washington's Birthday" rather than President's Day. Just because she chooses to wish her husband a happy President's Day (or whatever you want to call it) in the most common way, there is no reason to assume that she is ignorant. This is the kind of stuff that infuriates me about the media. Who cares anyway?

    February 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Samantha S.

      It's funny how a few words a person leaves n a comment can tell you so much about them. You can see their party lines in every word. I"m with you, this makes no sense. I'd actually find it a little funny if Michelle didn't publicly acknowledge her husband on today. Do you think they would write an even longer article about that?

      February 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Allen

      it matters because they claim to be so brilliant! Also, she is on her 15th taxpayer vacation in three years. This time to Aspen!

      February 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  7. sogooden

    We don't get the day off at all so I could care less what they call it.

    February 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Joi Gibson

      Too funny, but I agree – I too am working so who cares what they call it 🙂

      February 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
      • Soufiane

        fast it sounded like Lex Leven so my nick name amcbee Levi, pronounced like leh-vee, I think Alexi or Alexia or Alexis or Alexa would work or maybe even Eleven if you wanna go different;) (Alivyn, Alevin, Elevyn)

        April 3, 2012 at 6:09 am |
  8. DLN

    It is Washington's Birthday, not Presidents Day. You can look it up. Sarah Palin also got it wrong, so it's not a partisan thing. By the way, you all got the start of the new millennium wrong, too. I bet you don't even remember what you were doing on January 31, 2000 at 7pm EST. The lesson is that the public and media can be wrong. It's not a big deal until 70% of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11, and we invade a country that had nothing to do with it.

    February 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • SB

      Wow, I think this guy should be President...He seems to know EVERYTHING!

      February 22, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  9. judy

    funny on my calander it says presidents day and so does all the tv and news paper adds. Stupid story Get a life you goof

    February 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • DLN

      Well, I guess your "calander" and "news paper adds" are wrong. So is your spell-check.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  10. Attila, The Hun

    So what happened to Lincoln's Birthday which used to be celebrated on Feb. 11?

    February 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  11. tomclements

    No matter what you call it, it in no way celebrates anything to do with Obama, unless they have Food Stamp Presidents Day. MO gaffed!!

    February 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Linda

      What a racist! People have lost jobs because of the Republicans support for offshoring them – Pres, Obama has tried to change that with tax breaks for those who stay. Do you think all people on food stamps are people of color? How ignorant. I thank God for food stamps or the seniors in my family might not eat today. No sense being stupid unless you show it.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  12. CNN's 2011 President's Day Quiz

    Getting a little nit-picky aren't we? Last year on this day CNN released its own "President's Day Quiz"

    February 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  13. Lefty

    You nailed it tomclements, Michelle even took time out of busy "vacation" to make the new proclamation.

    February 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  14. Depends where you live

    Twenty Four states officially celebrate "Presidents' Day" today, even though the federal holiday is called "Washington's Birthday". Only nine states call it by its federal title.

    February 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  15. Samantha S.

    I'm kinda curious why they are dissing Michelle Obama for wishing her husband "Happy Presidents Day". The article itself states how the holiday which was originally made for George Washington's birthday, but was later changed to include Abraham Lincoln... The name then changed to presidents day. Yet they write this article implying ignorance on her part? Perhaps they should change the name back on the calendar if appreciating any president other than George Washington and Abraham Lincoln is some how ignorant, or offensive to some.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  16. truthoo7

    boy you people argue about the lameness things; seems like the reason for all the cat fights are because me want to be women in this country. do you want to be bigger than some of the comments posted here?

    February 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  17. PeterT

    Michelle Obama has such an amazing sense of reaching out and good people skills. I applaud her for these rare traits in a First Lady – I love her strong commitment to diverse communities, family and motherhood – Happy President's Day Michelle!

    February 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  18. Alex

    I It has become totally an astonishing moment when you relize that these two know NOTHING about National Holidays and they they think it is about THEM....
    Astonishing....I hope they are just as astonished when they realize they have been kicked out of the White House by the same American people who they think they have fooled.
    Hope Mitch is enjoying the slopes...next vacay will be on her.

    February 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  19. Carabec

    Personally, I am sick and tired of Mr. and Mrs. Obama. I wish them no harm, only anonminity. (FAT CHANCE!)

    February 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  20. cobiahunter

    Moochelle is as clueless as her narcissistic hubbie. God help us all.

    February 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • katahdin

      Clueless Rush fan at 8:00

      February 21, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Linda

      Did you get copyright approval from Rush Limbaugh? Have you ever once thought for yourself?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Ivywoods

      Your Moo-momma, moo-sister, as well as Moo-you.

      May 27, 2012 at 3:37 am |
  21. OARFNY

    Looks like a lot of folks are out without adult supervision.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  22. girlygirl

    To not like Obama = Hate.
    To not like Bush = Patriot
    funny double standard.
    MO – knows nothing when it comes to America.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  23. Jeff

    She’s hanging out with the one percenters again. Those folks with 3 million dollar vacation homes.

    I’m sure there were hundreds of Occupy protesters there, right?

    February 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  24. drjohn

    She's a regular Norman Einstein

    February 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  25. Joey

    I remember when I went to school we got both days off, Lincolns and Washingtons. Don't some schools get this whole week off?

    February 21, 2012 at 4:55 am |
  26. Doug

    If this day is only to commemorate Washington's birthday, I won't be celebrating that. Washington was a great person to his peers, not the people he owned. Not that I ever cared about the holiday to begin with. It's my real birthday so that is the only redeeming value to it for me.

    February 21, 2012 at 5:01 am |
  27. Blaine Simpson

    I've never seen a more weak argument. The article contains no evidence for the conclusion that she doesn't "know" the government-sanctioned name for the holiday. According to this author, most Americans believe that that their "Bob" associates actually have "Bob" on their birth certificates– proven because they call them "Bob".

    February 21, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  28. rj

    It is President's Day!!! All calendars where I live work and play have "Presidents Day".

    February 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  29. katahdin

    My calendar says Presidents' Day. It was printed by Easter Seals. Are you calling Easter Seals UnAmurican?

    February 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  30. Atma

    Dialogue With Our President

    Blessings President Obama,

    I have been trying to find a way to send a letter to you Sir. Just want to let you know, so many of my friends, family and business associates are behind you. I truly believe that you are our best hope to turn America around. Sometimes we all get caught up in the energy of the moment, we become reactive, we are expected to respond to criticism and opinion that is not always as popular as the media plays it up to be.... We sometimes forget, that it is in the quiet moments, those times when we can sit alone, meditate. Only then can we hear the voice within, the same voice that guided you toward the 44th Presidency of these great United States. You are the one Sir, to help find our way through the matrix. I have a possible solution that may help move us toward a brighter tomorrow, if I may share it with you.

    I believe we should privatize the rebuilding of America, we offer a real opportunity for our citizens to get involved. We promote spending, investment and jobs by taking the responsibility of fixing a broken America out of the hands of our government. Do away with bailouts and short sighted solutions. Offer new growth opportunities to all citizens of America as incentivized investment opportunity. Create new industry while moving America toward a greener more responsible tomorrow...

    Why punish those American's fortunate enough to have prospered in spite of the current challenges we face within our economy. By taxing Americans 30% of their income in excess of a million dollars, we are pretty much discouraging growth. This will only encourage prosperous American's to shelter their wealth, to seek creative means in which to hide their good fortune. Instead of punishing our creative citizens by way of a 30% Tax Bracket, why not encourage these Americans to re-invest that same 30% of taxable income, back into the Revitalization Of America. We reward our American financial leaders, with lucrative tax incentives for investing their wealth into the rebuilding of a greener more industrial efficient tomorrow.

    For many Americans, it's not so much the increased tax assessment as it is, the wasteful display of irresponsible Government spending. We are not seeing the results of our Government's current Robin-hood Mentality. We should offer American Citizens alternatives to traditional taxation by way of Incentivized American Re-Investment Packages. We empower our citizens by way of inclusion and participation in the re-building and revitalization of America.

    We reward Americans for re-investing 30% of their tax dollars Robin-Hood would normally take, and encourage citizens to invest in Pre-Packaged Investments designed to rebuild a struggling economy. We offer prosperous Americans an opportunity to directly participate in the re-building of America, over blind taxation. As an incentive to change we package the cost of conversion, converting those industry factories, plants and manufacturing companies to a more efficient, environmentally responsible form of production. We package the cost of conversion as an investment to Venture Capitalist and Private Equity Firms as means of revitalizing antiquated industries, which will create new jobs, new investments, increased consumer spending and new more efficient products.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, the seeds of a greener tomorrow, must be planted today." by Don McDaniels

    We create what I call Green Groups, of 25 or more, made up of a diverse team of Engineers, Industrial Designers, Reformation Specialist and other industry professionals who's sole purpose would be to analyze those industries seeking a new beginning. The Green Groups, to avoid corruption will be transparent, chosen randomly in a recorded and open forum. Each group will then be assigned to participating companies. All analysis and documentation will be made public. All cost associated with converting participating companies to a more responsible function, as well as the cost of the Green Group analysis, will then be offered to private equity and investment firms in a contractor bid format.
    This plan will revitalize the economy and rid the US Government of corporate bailouts, while moving the world toward a greener more efficient tomorrow.

    All companies submitted to the program, once converted and functioning at a more efficient capacity are responsible for repaying the investment packages provided by private equity, private investment firms.

    Don McDaniels CEO/President
    Atma'Sphere Entertainment
    "Tomorrow's Solutions Today"

    February 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Linda


      February 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
      • Mostafah

        Undine, in the most ridiculous othemd of justifying the name un (one in French) + deien (ten in Old French.) In another messed translation othemd since eleven in German is elf, I suppose you any name that has elf in the meaning. Alva, Alfred, Alberich, Alvar.

        April 3, 2012 at 5:16 am |
  31. tom clements

    Food Stamp President Day

    February 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm |