Origin of Presidents Day

Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

Caylee Mejia, Staff Writer

Presidents Day is a federal holiday celebrated on Monday, February 20. This day is to celebrate George Washington’s birthday. It was first celebrated as a federal holiday in the United States during the 1880s. Ms. Kratofil, a 7th-grade history teacher, stated, “I think that the holiday which is intended to honor Presidents of Washington and Lincoln is a fitting way to stop and think about what our top leader does to make our lives better. For example, Washington, the first national leader who agreed to step down and let others lead after him (rulers before him served until they died) set a strong example for the system of government here in the United States to help us avoid tyranny. If we remember to take a few moments during our holiday to remember those two men, it can serve to secure the purpose of our government.”

According to Britannica, “The birthday of the U.S. President George Washington, February 22 was first celebrated as a federal holiday in the United States in the 1880s. In 1968 the holiday was adapted to also honor the birth of the U.S. President Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and moved to the third Monday in February. Presidents’ Day is sometimes considered to be a celebration of all U.S Presidents.” Presidents’ Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February because of the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which moved a number of federal holidays to Mondays when it was passed by the United States Congress in 1968. This change was intended to allow American workers a number of three-day weekends throughout the year.

Another fact from Britannica is, “The origin of Presidents’ Day lies in the 1880s when the birthday of Washington commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and the first president of the United States was first celebrated as a federal holiday. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which moved a number of federal holidays to Mondays. The change was designed to schedule certain holidays so that workers had a number of long weekends throughout the year, but it has been opposed by those who believe that those holidays should be celebrated on the dates they actually commemorate. During the debate on the bill, it was proposed that Washington’s Birthday be renamed Presidents’ Day to honor the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln although Lincoln’s birthday was celebrated in many states, it was never an official federal holiday. Following much discussion, Congress rejected the name change. Presidents’ Day is usually marked by public ceremonies in Washington, D.C and throughout the country.”

Presidents day is an important holiday to celebrate the birthdays for presidents day of the United States, and it gives a four-day weekend to students here at Rio Norte or other schools in Hart District.