President’s Day is typically a day off from work and school (for some people!) and an opportunity to buy at on discount. The moment is ideal for purchasing a mattress. Yet as you might assume, the holiday we celebrate every year on the third Monday in February has a more critical purpose.
George Washington truly started Presidents’ Day in its original form. Citizens unofficially remembered him on his actual birthday, February 22, after his passing in 1799.
According to History, that Day was declared a federal holiday for the District of Columbia in 1879 and the entire nation in 1885.
Nevertheless, when Congress proposed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in the late 1960s, things became a little more complicated. By changing the celebration date from February 22 to a Monday, more three-day weekends would be possible, increasing retail sales.
The new date allowed the nation to commemorate Abraham Lincoln and George Washington on the same Day. Presidents’ Day was never formally modified to be called such by the government. Still, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act transformed what was formerly a tribute to Washington into a day to honor all presidents.
Almost half of the states have changed the name of the holiday to Presidents’ Day since the law was enacted in 1971. Nonetheless, certain conditions, including Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, and New York, still observe it as George Washington Day or a comparable holiday, according to MountVernon.org.
Here are some quick facts you should remember in case you’re still unclear about some of the specifics:
When is Presidents’ Day?
On February’s third Monday. It will happen on Monday, February 20, 2023.
Why Do We Celebrate It?
Although it originally served to celebrate George Washington, the first president of the United States, it has now evolved into a day set aside to honor all presidents.
Is Presidents’ Day a Federal Holiday?
It is a legal holiday, yes.
Is the Post Office Closed?
Yes, according to Fortune. Most banks, non-essential government offices, post offices, and schools are closed today. Check out our guide for a complete list of what’s open and closed on Presidents’ Day.
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Rebecca Martin is an author of thrillers for both adults and teens. She was born in San Francisco and has lived most of her life in Los Angeles. When not writing, she can be found hiking the Griffith Park trails, taking the Metro and then questioning this decision, and haunting local bookstores.