Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day—not!

President's Day school holiday

Today is President's Day, a U.S. federal holiday that celebrates all of our country's presidents. Or so I thought.

In researching the holiday's history, I came across some enlightening information on Snopes.com. This is really, officially, the "George Washington's Birthday" holiday, just like when I was in grammar school when we used to get a day off for both his birthday on February 22 and Abraham Lincoln's birthday on February 12. We're supposed to be celebrating George's birthday. Not all the presidents.

President's Day salesIt turns out that the Uniform Holidays Bill of 1968 officially set the third Monday of February as the day to celebrate George's birthday. This means that federal workers (and students) always get a 3-day weekend—but it also means that George's birthday is never actually celebrated on his birthday, because the third Monday can never fall later in the month than the 21st. And most of the states dropped Lincoln's birthday, because the bill also established Columbus Day as a new federal holiday.

Of course, a 3-day weekend also means bargains at the local shopping centers. In its depleted and messy shelves, Stonewood Mall tonight showed the ravages of three days of sales and shopping.

3 comments:

  1. looking back on how they "Lumped" all the Presidents Birthdays into one day a year (the Good, The Bad, The Ugly) I believe we need to have a National "Birthday" for Politicians.... when they go into Office their Birthday becomes April 1st.... seems appropriate to me...
    What are your Thoughts??????

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  2. Nit picking just a bit, but if we were really celebrating the birthdays of all the presidents (as the people who put up the sign probably assumed), shouldn't that be "Presidents' Day," not "President's Day"?

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  3. Anonymous, I agree. Politicians and April 1st seem to go together naturally. :-)

    Bonnie, good point. I missed that one too, and I'm an editor -- for shame!

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