President’s Day: History Kicked to The Curb?
I wonder how many people reading this know that Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is February 12 and George Washington’s is February 22nd?
Those president’s birthdays are not listed on my current calendar.
It's Still Washington's Birthday
When I was in school, dinosaurs still roamed the earth; but we got Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays off. It at least made February more bearable.
But on February 22, 1971 all that changed. The third Monday in February became officially known as President’s Day.
According to section 6103(a) of title 5 of the U.S. Code, today commemorates “Washington’s Birthday,” not “Presidents Day.”
Are We Diluting Our Presidents?
Now we have this obscure, generic three-day weekend that lumps our greatest presidents in with our worst and mediocre ones. No wonder today’s kids don’t know anything about American history.
I suppose, if you make it to that high office, you do deserve a certain amount of respect, even if you sucked at the job.
Our mentality seems to be moving more to having a holiday than the meaning of the holiday.
When Did The Name Change?
The term “President’s Day” morphed from “Washington’s Birthday” due to the efforts of retailers who saw an opportunity to cash in on a three-day, post Christmas, Valentine’s Day. Hence the advertising catch phrase, “President’s Day.”
Some Final Thoughts
So I guess I’ll just take it easy and relax on President’s Day. Maybe a cake with 43 candles is in order as I peruse the sale ads.
One thing is for sure. The so-called holiday known as President’s Day is the least sacrosanct of them all.
But, I guess that’s makes perfect sense when we are talking about the most powerful people in the world.