Celebrating Our Past Presidents
This month is all about Presidents’ Day, a day to honor our past presidents and their contributions to America. But did you know that Presidents’ Day was originally celebrated on George Washington’s birthday on February 22?
In an effort to create a uniform system of federal Monday holidays, in 1968, Congress passed a law shifting three existing holidays including Washington’s Birthday – commonly known as Presidents’ Day – to the third Monday in February.
Think You Got Game?
Can you put the U.S. presidents in order? Play the U.S. Mint’s “Presidential Challenge” game and find out!
This fun and educational trivia game can be played for individual enrichment or as part of a classroom lesson.
Coins of the Month
Presidential $1 Coins and First Spouse Gold Coins
From 2007-2017, the U.S. Mint issued a series of Presidential $1 Coins, honoring all past presidents of the United States who have been dead for at least two years, as well as First Spouse Gold Coins, featuring the Presidents’ spouses and a design that illustrates the spouse’s life and work.
- For each Presidential $1 Coin, the front of the coin features the president’s portrait, name, and years the president’s term began and ended.
- The back of the Presidential $1 Coin includes an image of the Statue of Liberty.
- For each First Spouse Gold Coin, the front features an image of the First Spouse.
- The back of the First Spouse Gold Coin illustrates part of that spouse’s life and work.
Presidential Lesson Plans
Teach your students about our past presidents and their contributions to our nation:
A Day as President (Grades K-1)
Students will identify the President as the leader of the United States government. Students will identify the jobs and responsibilities of the President of the United States.
Presidential Biography (Grades 4-6)
Students will identify George Washington and his contributions to the United States, including serving as the commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, leader of the Constitutional Convention, and the first president of the United States. Students will understand that a biography is a type of literary genre.
History in the Making (Grades 7-8)
Students will make associations between a historical period, the office of the President of the United States, and foreign policy. They will. diagram this connection and write an essay and present a team skit.
They Were Born Where? (Grades 9-10)
Students will identify where the presidents of the United States were born and the role of geography in determining election outcomes by creating graphs and analyzing the results of presidential elections.
Fun Facts about U.S. Presidents
Did you know that…
- George Washington was our first President – but not the first President on a circulating coin: In 1909, President Lincoln appeared on a one-cent coin and became the first real person – as well as first American president – to have his face appear on a regular-issue American coin.
- American coins seldom show living people ever since George Washington refused to appear on a coin because kings often put themselves on coins. But sometimes we break this “rule” – the first President on a coin while still alive was Calvin Coolidge in 1926.
- Thomas Jefferson liked to count by tens…. Thomas Jefferson, honored on the current U.S. nickel, was the first person to back the use of the decimal money system that we use today.
- Heads, it’s Washington; tails, it’s Washington: The New Jersey quarter is not the first coin to have the same president (Washington) on both sides. Do you know the other coin and president?
- And the answer is…. The Lincoln cent (1959 to 2007) featured this beloved president on both sides of the coin. On the obverse, we see his face in profile; on the reverse, he is seated in the Lincoln Memorial. However, the coin does carry the initials of two different engravers.
Check out our other fun facts about the U.S. Mint.