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Facts for Features: Presidents' Day Feb. 18, 2013

Press Release Number CB13-FF.05

Presidents' Day is observed on the third Monday of February. Although many feel Presidents' Day is a time to honor all former U.S. presidents, the federal holiday is actually the official observance of George Washington's birthday (Feb. 22).

To commemorate Presidents' Day, the Census Bureau has pulled information from its geographic database on the country's 100 most common names of places, minor civil divisions (MCDs) and counties. The following list shows where the last names of various presidents rank on the list (rankings based on "actual name" counts). The "actual name" column is based on the number of places, MCDs and counties with just that name alone. The "total" column includes the "actual name" count plus the count in which the name is found within a longer name (such as "Fort Washington" or "Lincoln Park").

Last Name Ranking Actual name Total

Washington

1 94 127

Lincoln

3 70 95

Jackson

4 66 96

Jefferson

6 61 84

Clinton

7 55 61

Madison

9 54 70

Monroe

10 51 64

Grant

13 39 62

Harrison

24 33 39

Adams

26 32 42

Cleveland

47 27 32

Garfield

49 26 27

Wilson

56 25 37

Taylor

56 25 47

Note: The term "places" refers to both incorporated places and census designated places (CDPs). Names of minor civil divisions (MCDs) are primarily the towns and townships from the 12 strong MCD states of Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. Also, these places were not necessarily named after the president in some cases, since the entities may have been named before the president was in office.

It's also worth noting that —

  • Although never a president, founding father Benjamin Franklin's last name was the second most common name of a place, MCD or county, with 89 of these bearing his actual name.
  • Mount Vernon, George Washington's home in Virginia, is tied for 110th place, with 18 places, MCDs and counties across the country having this actual name.
  • Also in the top 1,000, based on the number of places, MCDs and counties with the actual name, is Johnson (20), Polk (18), Van Buren (13), Roosevelt (13), Fillmore (10), Buchanan (10), Pierce (nine), McKinley (eight), Carter (eight), Hayes (six), Taft (six), Harding (five), Kennedy (five) and Ford (five).

To access a host of demographic and socio-economic statistics about any of the places with one of these names, see the "QuickFacts" data access tool: //www.census.gov/quickfacts/.

The following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

Black (African American) History Month (February)
Super Bowl
Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
Women's History Month (March)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
      St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
Earth Day (April 22)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
Older Americans Month (May)
Mother's Day
Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
Father's Day
The Fourth of July (July 4)
Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
Back to School (August)
Labor Day
Grandparents Day
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Unmarried and Single Americans Week
Halloween (Oct. 31)
American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Thanksgiving Day
The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; or e-mail: pio@census.gov.

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