Is It “President’s Day,” “Presidents Day,” or “Presidents’ Day”?

Every February, we enjoy a long holiday weekend thanks to Presidents’ Day, which occurs every year on the third Monday in February. While a relaxing holiday is nice, the tricky punctuation of this holiday is anything but. Let’s see if we can untangle this prickly piece of presidential punctuation.

If you also have a hard time remembering when the word president should be capitalized, check out our guide on when and when not to capitalize the word president!

Why is it Presidents’ Day?

A major source of this punctuation pickle likely comes from the fact that the official name of this holiday, as recognized by Congress, is Washington’s birthday. However, the day is often celebrated by Americans as a day to celebrate the birthdays of both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who was also born in February, and to honor all of America’s former presidents.

Because the holiday celebrates more than one president, the plural possessive spelling of Presidents’ Day is the one most often considered standard. Presidents’ (plural) communicates the day belongs to more than one president. This is the spelling you are most likely to see used on calendars and by major newspapers. That being said, the apostrophe-less Presidents Day is a popular alternative and is favored by the Associated Press Stylebook.

Confusingly, the singular possessive President’s Day also sees use as the legal name of the holiday in some states. However, the plural versions are much more common, so many may consider the singular President’s Day to be incorrect.

What about other holidays?

Now that you’re the commander-in-chief of Presidents’ Day punctuation, you might be wondering about other holidays. If holiday punctuation has you wishing for veto power, you can make the executive decision to check out our punctuation guide to some other holidays below!

Dig deeper into the uses of the apostrophe here.

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