Presidents’ Day

Kya Gooch, Reporter

An early version of Presidents’ day began in 1880, although it was not very similar to today’s version. Following George Washington’s death in 1779, his February 22 birthday became a day of remembrance in the United States, since he was considered one of the most important figures in the country. A federal holiday to celebrate him was not created until February 22, 1885. This day was simply called “Washington’s Birthday.”

Over the years, Abraham Lincon’s February 12 birthday was also recognized. Then the two presidential birthdays were celebrated together in one February holiday in 1971. This official shift to a national Presidents’ day began in 1968, when the “Monday Holiday’s Act” was passed. This act said that existing federal holidays would be celebrated on Mondays, so that government workers could have a longer weekend. This is why the February 22 holiday was changed to whatever day the third Monday in February would lang on. Presidents’ day was then expanded to recognize all United States presidents. 

I think it is a great day for our youth to understand what the Presidents’ of the US did. I believe [Presidents’ day] is necessary,” senior Evan Murray said.

Contrary to popular belief, the holiday is still called Washington’s birthday according to United State’s code. The name was never officially changed to Presidents’ day, but federal code permits local governments and business’ to call federal holidays whatever they want. Most stores take advantage of this second name to promote sales in February. 

“I think Presidents’ day should be celebrated. [The Presidents’] made America the way it is now,” sophomore Kacie Hoesli said.

I think that it is important to take a day to honor all of the amazing leaders our country has had, and do have. Even if you don’t necessarily like or agree with all of them, they stepped up and did the job, even if they didn’t do it well,” sophomore Trevor Leitz said.

Kya Gooch
American flag