Presidents’ Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February. This is a day that people honor and remember the presidents for the work they did in making America the country it is today. The thing that most people don’t know about Presidents’ day is that it is not it’s official name.
After the death of George Washington, his birthday was an unofficial holiday that was celebrated by many people.Throughout the 1800s, George Washington’s birthday was used as a day to honor Washington and the legacy he left. By the 1870s there was a proposal to have Washington’s birthday be a federal holiday. President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law in 1889. Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was on February 12, and due to his legacy and the proximity his birthday was to Washington’s, it was proposed to have the holiday Change to Presidents’ Day. Congress shot down the proposal and Washington’s Birthday remained until the mid 1900s.
In the 1960s, Senator Robert McClory of Illinois proposed a plan to move some holidays to Mondays to increase the number of three-day weekends. It was named the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The hope was that by doing this, there would be an increase in productivity and a decrease in the number of employees skipping work. In 1971, Richard Nixon made an executive order to pass the act and it effectively shifted Washington’s Birthday, Columbus Day, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day to Mondays. By moving the date that Washington’s birthday was celebrated to Monday, the holiday fell between Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthday. This move caused the name to start being called Presidents’ Day. By the mid 1980s, Presidents’ Day became the common term for this day and is continued to be called that to this day.
Presidents’ Day is the perfect chance to remember the leaders that our country has had and appreciate the work that they did in making our country what it is today. It is also the perfect opportunity for many to enjoy a day off of work and rest. However you spend Presidents’ Day, it is always important to remember the good that the presidents of the past have done for this nation.