Whether you spent the day at home or at work, today is a celebration of two of our nations most influential presidents.
We began celebrating George Washington’s birthday in 1885, just as the Washington Monument was coming to completion.
Within the monument, each state has a memorial stone. North Dakota’s is a piece of granite from a farm near Mandan.
In 1968, Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays were combined into one holiday: President’s Day.
And, President Abraham Lincoln is the one with the most concrete connection to our state.
He signed the Homestead Act, which is what originally brought a great number of people to the great plain states.
He also signed the Trans-Continental Railroad Act, bringing trains through North Dakota, and developing our region.
State Historical Society Curator of Collections Mark Halvorson explains, “Lincoln gave us, how a Commander in Chief; how the President should behave in times of war, and in looking forward to times of peace. Before Lincoln’s death, he was already looking forward to mending the ties.”
Lincoln also signed the Morill Land Grant, which created our agriculture colleges, like NDSU.