This coming Monday we have a day off from school. Why might you ask? It is Presidents Day, that’s why. This year in 2022, Presidents Day is going to be February 21. Why do we have Presidents Day, and what does it celebrate?
Of course everyone knows about Presidents day, but did you know that it’s official name is Washigntons birthday. It was called Washington’s birthday for a while, but it was decided that instead of just focusing on the first president, we would focus on the founding of our nation and all of it’s values. February 12th is also Abraham Lincons birthday, so by calling this holiday Presidents Day we are able to include another remarkable president in our celebrations. So, in today’s world, we refer to every third Monday of February to be Presidents Day.
Historically people began to celebrate George Washington’s birthday shortly after his death, long before it was declared a federal holiday. The shift between presidents day and George Washington’s birthday began in the late 1960’s when congress started a measure known as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This law sought to shift the celebration of several federal holidays from specific dates to a series of predetermined Mondays.
The proposed change was seen by many as a novel way to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers, and it was believed that ensuring holidays always fell on the same weekday would reduce employee absenteeism. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act also included a provision to combine the celebration of Washington’s birthday with that of Abraham Lincon, which fell on February 12. Lincoln’s Birthday had long been a state holiday in places like Illinois, and many supported joining the two days as a way of giving equal recognition to two of America’s most famous statesmen.
This coming Monday we hope that you can enjoy your free day off from school and be able to think of the forefathers of the United States. Just have a good day and maybe learn a few things about the presidents.