The Real History of President’s Day

Today is President’s Day, a holiday celebrated every year on the third Monday in February. It’s a day to honor all of our great nation’s presidents, but it started out as a celebration of one president in particular. I’ll give you a hint: he chopped down his dad’s cherry tree (not really), he had wooden teeth, and he crossed the Delaware river like a boss.

In the 1960s, Congress came up with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which basically would shift certain holidays to predetermined Mondays so people would get more three-day weekends every year. The idea was that it would give workers more time off so they wouldn’t play hooky as often, but some thought it would cheapen the holidays by not celebrating them on the actual day. The act also combined the celebration of George Washington’s birthday with Abraham Lincoln’s, which was on February 12. Senator Robert McClory of Illinois—where Lincoln’s Birthday was already a state holiday—suggested we rename the holiday “President’s Day,” but was met with resistance. The name didn’t change officially, but the rest of the act was passed and went into effect after an executive order from President Richard Nixon in 1971.

Source: The Real History of President’s Day