Happy Generic Occupant’s Of The White House Day
I'll admit it. I'm a tad bitter working today because we used to get President's Day off, and I could be home blissfully sleeping in. But, I really don't have much to complain about. No, the people who have a real right to be a little sideways about this holiday are the students of today. You see, they don't have they missed out on the sweet deal we had as kids. We got two days off in February. We had Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday to stay away from the scowls of our teachers.
President's Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February, and it honors the birthdays of two of America's most famous presidents - George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The history of this holiday dates back to the 19th century, and it has undergone several changes over the years.
So why the change?
Initially, February 22nd was celebrated as Washington's Birthday, a federal holiday that was first declared by Congress in 1879 for government offices in Washington D.C. Later, in 1885, it was expanded to include all federal offices. Washington's Birthday was celebrated on his actual birth date until the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed in 1968, which changed the observance of the holiday to the third Monday in February to create a three-day weekend for the nation's workers.
In the late 1960s, there was a movement to change the name of the holiday from Washington's Birthday to President's Day to honor the legacy of all American presidents, not just the first president. The idea was to make the holiday a more inclusive celebration of all presidents and their contributions to the country. However, this proposal was not passed by Congress, and the holiday continued to be known as Washington's Birthday.
In the 1980s, there was another push to rename the holiday to President's Day, and this time the proposal was successful. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law that changed the name of the holiday from Washington's Birthday to President's Day, and it was designated as a day to celebrate all presidents, past and present.
Since then, the holiday has continued to evolve. Many states have added their own celebrations, including recognizing state-specific presidents or other historical figures. Additionally, while the holiday is still officially known as President's Day, it is often celebrated as a day to honor all U.S. presidents, including those who may not have achieved the same level of fame or recognition as Washington and Lincoln.
And to me, that seems to take away some of the meaning of the day. I mean, do we really elevate Joe Biden or Donald Trump to the same status as a Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy or Reagan? No, I believe the winning of an election does not place someone on the same level of some of the leaders who through out our nation's history have not only stood tall but also stood the test of time.
The history of President's Day is a fascinating one, and it highlights the importance of our nation's leaders in shaping the course of history. While the name may have changed, the spirit of the holiday remains the same - to celebrate the contributions and legacy of America's presidents.