Is it possible to describe a Chrysanthemum? Are yoga pants made for working out or going to Starbucks? I felt that kind of confusion when I decided to write about Presidents Day.
I thought I would just casually mention this Monday holiday. Then, as I researched it, I realized that it is one of the more curious Federal holidays. That it’s real purpose includes partly to allow Federal employees to be take a long lunch today, because it is meant to truly be their holiday. So maybe they will also be able to enjoy their Tarragon Chicken Salad for lunch at some local restaurant, instead of being at the office.
I am not even sure if it should be written as President’s Day, Presidents’ Day or simply without the possessive apostrophe.
Are we observing George Washington’s Birthday, which has been legislatively moved to more convenient Mondays as of 1971. You might think we’re celebrating the combined birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Or, are we honoring the memory of all U.S. presidents past and present? Or are you still back on the thought of a Tarragon Chicken Salad?
After reading the Wikipedia page for President’s Day, I realized that I should have really called it Washington’s Birthday. If you click on the attachment, you will see that various states recognize this day by different names. Although, my reading comprehension got a little fuzzy when the descriptions also started using the term colloquially.
Here is the brief highlights of this day. In 1879, by an act of Congress, George Washington’s actual birthday became a Federal holiday. Then, in 1971, the Federal holiday was officially shifted to the third Monday of February. Nixon specifically wanted all Federal employees to have a longer weekend.
Federally, it is still called officially Washington’s Birthday. Which is why there is no right or wrong spelling for Presidents Day.
Of course, advertisements for washers and dryers, or cars, or clothes might still have a talking Thomas Jefferson thrown in there. And, many people believe that this is a day to honor all presidents. History.com gives a great summary of the history of the day.
Most of us who are at work today are getting bombarded with sales emails for Presidents’ Day. But at least it served as a reason to remind kids, in the days leading up to this holiday, to be taught about the accomplishments of Presidents. And especially Washington and Lincoln.
It is going to be a great Monday!
And finally, Our Pic o’day must remain Presidential thematic… right?