Few young folks these days recognize that “President’s Day” was in fact a holiday created to specifically honor George Washington, on his birthday. The holiday was originally created in 1885 by a bill signed by President Chester Arthur, which declared that February 22nd, Washington’s Birthday, will be a federal government holiday.
However, as with most things to do with Washington, matters were certainly not so simple. Washington’s Birthday was actually on February 11th, but that was according to the Julian calendar. That being said, Britain ultimately moved to the Gregorian calendar, which in turn shifted everything forward 11 days. Eventually, Abraham Lincoln was voted president and proved to become a president as remarkable and acted as much of a catalyst to the country as Washington did. His birthday was February 12th, and many states started to observe that date as a holiday.
The Birth of President’s Day
Several years later, in 1968, members of Congress determined that it would be much simpler to commemorate the holidays if they were on Monday to ensure that employees could have a three day holiday weekend as opposed to having a broken week at the center of the week. This bill moved all holidays to Monday, so Presidents Day lies the third Monday in February. This legal holiday is often referred to as “President’s Day,” in honor of both Washington and Lincoln, however the official title continues to be “Washington’s Birthday.”.
So as to make the solitary legal holiday further inclusive of both Presidents, Congress mulled over a bill to relabel it as President’s Day. Congress rejected the bill. Some in Congress would fancy to make the national holiday more comprehensive of not merely Lincoln, but all Presidents who served our nation. But when it boils down to it, the primary objective of the holiday was to recognize the first significant and great President who had one of the most significant parts in founding this nation and establishing the Constitution that we hold so precious. Washington deserves to be recognized as the greatest leader the United States have ever had.
What Does President’s Day Symbolize to Americans?
Should you ask the majority of Americans about President’s Day, they’ll most likely tell you that it is among the very best shopping days of the year. Merchants deliver some of the steepest markdowns of the year as they switch from winter goods to spring goods. Stores want to tidy up floor space for the new inventory, and parting with the remaining winter items are their optimum concern. In some cases the priority is so high that sale prices are incredibly shocking.
Sadly, this process has triggered the national holiday, which was created to distinguish President Washington and President Lincoln, to become a highly commercialized holiday, just like Christmas has become. It seems unfortunate that most Americans do not understand the significance of the day, the history behind it, and the history behind the men for which it was created.
Effective Ways to Celebrate President’s Day.
That’s not just to mention that you shouldn’t appreciate a very good day of rock-bottom closeouts at your local retailer. But mainly, mothers and fathers ought to devote the day with their children, enlightening them about Washington’s history and the history of the birth of our country. Parents should enjoy activities with their kids that reflect on what it means to become a U.S. President, and exactly what sort of conflicts and trials George Washington encountered during his time as a child, his time on the field of battles of our young nation, and his time as a leader of this great nation.
Help children with our heritage and get outrageous results!