Washington’s Original Birthday Was February 11

February 2nd, 2018 History,News and Events



Young George Washington

We all know that February sometimes involves a leap year. But in a little quirk of history, American colonists once had to leap weeks into the future!

The British (and by extension, the colonists) waited until 1752 to make the jump from the calendar created by Julius Caesar in 45 BC to the one commissioned by Pope Gregory XII in the 1580s, our current standard. They landed about 11 days off the mark.

The solution: At one second after midnight on September 2, 1752, it became September 14.

Of course, all birthdates followed suit—including George Washington’s. Born on February 11, 1731 (according to the Julian calendar), George celebrated his 20th birthday on February 22, which is the date we use today.

If you’re looking to celebrate that special day with us, you can do so a few days before George’s actual birthday. Washington Crossing Historic Park will celebrate Washington’s 290th birthday on Sunday, February 20.