Monday, February 17, 2014
Happy Presidents Day
History of President's Day
Celebrated on the third Monday of February, President’s Day is a United States federal holiday that honors George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and our nation’s presidents. Though the holiday is currently held as a celebration for all Presidents of the United States, this was not its original intent.
In 1880, an Act of Congress deemed George Washington’s birthday, February 22, a federal holiday for government offices in the District of Columbia. In 1885, the holiday was implemented in all federal offices across the United States. This holiday was known as Washington’s Birthday because its purpose was to commemorate the first President of the United States. For decades, Washington’s Birthday was celebrated on the actual day of his birth, until January 1, 1971 when the Uniform Monday Holiday Act took affect, shifting the holiday to every third Monday in February. The purpose of Uniform act was to schedule certain holidays on Mondays, as opposed to sporadic fixed dates throughout the week, in order to allow federal employees to have long weekends during the year. When drafting the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, it was proposed to rename the holiday from Washington’s Birthday to President’s Day to honor both Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as the holiday falls between both of the president’s birthdays. Congress declined changing the name, leaving the holiday’s legal name to be Washington’s Birthday. By the 1980s, President’s Day became the commonly accepted name for the holiday due to a push from advertisers, retailers, and people of the nation, hence the designation that is publicly used to name this patriotic holiday. Throughout the country and in Washington D.C., celebrations, ceremonies, and parades are held to honor George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and the accomplishments of all Presidents of the United States.