Presidents Day, in my opinion, is one of those holidays that (unless you are a bank or Federal employee) often gets overlooked. This year, Valentine’s Day is doing its best to steal all of the attention by falling the day before President’s Day, and that’s just not fair! So let’s shed some light on Presidents Day, and make an effort at better understanding why we commemorate this historic day.
Presidents Day has its roots in “Washington’s Birthday.” That holiday became an annual day of remembrance the year after George Washington, our first President, and often called the “Father of our Country,” died. George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 and died on December 14, 1799. Just a few years later, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of our country (and well-considered another great president) was born on February 12th, 1809. For quite some time, both birthdays were celebrated as holidays, in some form or fashion in our country.
But in 1968, there was a push to move a handful of existing federal holidays to designated Mondays, and because Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday were both in the same month, it was easy to combine the two. Presidents Day was enacted to be celebrated on the third Monday in February, and strangely enough, the holiday can never actually fall on either birthday! The latest date that Presidents Day can fall is February 21st, which is close to Washington’s birthday, but no dice. Despite the disconnect on either birthdate, the honor for both Presidents is preserved.
For some interesting trivia about Presidents Day, here are the 5 most important things to know about Presidents Day:
However you observe the day, we hope you enjoy Presidents Day 2016!
Flickr photo by: Casey Florig