Presidents' Day is celebrated in February to honor two of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. The holiday is celebrated in the United States on the third Monday in February.

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. When he was born, America was not a nation yet. It belonged to England, a country across the ocean. People in America didn't want to belong to England so they fought a war to become a separate country. George Washington was an American general in the war. America won the war and picked a new name for itself: The United States of America. George Washington was elected to be its first President.

A legend is told about George Washington as a boy. Young George had a new hatchet and with it he cut down a small cherry tree. When his father saw the tree, he was angry. "George," he said. "Did you do that?" George was afraid to admit that he did.

Nevertheless, the boy decided to tell the truth. "Yes, Father," he said, "I cut down the cherry tree with my hatchet. I cannot tell a lie." George Washington's father was proud of George for telling the truth.

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12 in 1809. Things were different then. When Abe was a boy, he lived in a log cabin. A log cabin is a small house made out of logs cut from trees. His father cut down the trees and made the cabin.

There were no electric lights in the cabin. Young Abe read books by firelight and drew with charcoal on a shovel. Abe's family was poor. Often he went barefoot because he didn't have any shoes.

When Abraham Lincoln grew up, he studied hard and became a lawyer. Then he was elected to be a law-maker. In 1861, Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President of the United States.

The pictures of four Presidents are carved
on a big mountain. Can you name them?


Back in Seventeen ninety-six
Is when this Holiday began
For the birthday of ol’ George
At least that was the plan.
It was his last full year
Of his Presidency
Born February twenty-second
Or the Eleventh, ‘cause you see
The old calendar was different
Than the one we use today
And some celebrated one
Some people on the other day.
By the early Nineteenth Century
Celebrated every year
Birthnight Balls were held
Taverns reveled in good cheer.
Public figures gave their speeches
And Receptions given by a few
Then along came ol’ Abe Lincoln
His Birthday in February too.
In Eighteen and sixty-five
The year after Booth’s fatal shot
Both House’s of Congress gathered
For a Memorial and solemn thought.
Not a Federal Holiday like George’s
But legal in more than one State
And then a Resolution was enacted
Back in Nineteen sixty-eight.
They made the third Monday of the month
To make for a three day weekend
To honor Washington and Lincoln
And this story comes to it’s end.

~Del "Abe" Jones~

George Washington Activities:

Printable Coloring Pages
Just click on the picture!

Washington Word Search

Special writing paper for George Washington here!

George Washington Recipe

Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

1 teaspoon vanilla
2 sticks butter or margarine
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the vanilla, butter, egg yolks and brown sugar until creamy. Add the flour and salt and mix well.

Have the children roll the dough into 1" balls and place them on greased cookie sheets. Have the children make a thumbprint in each ball and then place a maraschino cherry in each thumbprint. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. (Makes about 3 dozen cookies)

Abraham Lincoln Activities:

Printable Coloring Pages
Just click on the picture!

Lincoln Word Search

Special writing paper for Abraham Lincoln here!

Abraham Lincoln Recipe

Celebrate ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY with your child or the children in your class by making Miniature Lincoln Logs! Here's how: Bake a white or yellow cake mix in paper baking cups as directed on the package. Cool and remove from papers. To form logs, put two cupcakes together end-to-end with ready-to-spread chocolate frosting. Frost sides, leaving ends of logs (tops of cupcakes) unfrosted. With small spatula make strokes in frosting to resemble bark. Decorate each log with a hatchet cut from red construction paper.

An art idea sent to me for making a log cabin:
We have the shape of a small house and open door cut out. The children glue this onto construction paper. Next they glue small pretzel sticks onto the house to resemble logs. Inside the door the children are given a shiny new penny and identify Abraham Lincoln's face on it. They glue it inside the open door. We talk about how log cabins were built prior to making our own.

Sherry sent in this great Lincoln activity below. Thanks, Sherry!

Read Just Like Abraham Lincoln by Bernard Waber.
Compare/contrast Mr. Potts and Abraham Lincoln (appearance, when they lived, occupation, clothing, height, favorite things to do, etc.)

Marilyn sent me this great Abe idea. Thanks, Marilyn!!

My students are studying Abe and we have really taken off on quite an expedition. Here's a fun activity--My children were impressed to find out the Abe was 6'4" tall--the children took large paper --and my best artist drew Abe--we measured him to be the exact height he was--the students were amazed at how tall he was. Then I took a Picture of each student standing in front of Abe-- they'll take it home to remember our thematic unit--

The kids are also in the process of finding out how big the log cabin actually was-- we'd like to find out it's measurements--as we'd like to make a floor model of it--and then see how it is that 7 and sometimes 8 people lived in that cabin--do you have any information on how big it was??

**webmaster note! does anyone have the answer to this? Please email me if you do! Thanks!

Marilyn wrote back with the answer to her own question:
"I found out through another source that the cabin was 16 y 18 feet--my kids and I will go outside and measure it--it should be fun to do--I just have to wait for a warm day here in NY--hopefully it won't be too bad next week. It's his birthday and the kids are thrilled to be celebrating it instead of Valentine's Day--who would have thought it."

I hope you have enjoyed these Presidents' Day Activities! If you have any suggestions, please contact me!

For some more great Abraham Lincoln fun, please visit Abraham Lincoln Research Site. Near the bottom of page, you'll find some great stories about the Lincolns and animals...there are stories about goats, dogs, and even a White House Turkey!

For some more great President's Day fun, please visit and!