The history of President's Day
POSTED: Monday, February 18, 2013 - 7:13pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 11:44am
TYLER, TEXAS (KETK) — The story of Presidents Day dates back to the 1800s following our first President, George Washington's death in 1799. But, ‘President’s Day’ didn’t become a national holiday until the late 1880s. Most people see it as an extra day to relax but traditionally it's viewed as a celebration of patriotic remembrance.
Tommy Bennett, a Tyler resident, says it’s just another day off work to him, "At least I don't have to work , and get paid for not working so we're good!” But, besides a day off work, and post office's and banks being closed, what's the real meaning behind the holiday?
Mary Vernau, Tyler City Librarian explains, "The history is that president Washington's Birthday was celebrated on February 22nd, it became a national holiday in 1885."
The holiday then moved away from the February 22nd date, and changed to the third Monday in February, many thought the holiday was changed to celebrate both Washington and Abraham Lincolns’ birthdays together; Lincolns’ birthday is on the 12th. But that wasn't the reason the holiday changed.
Vernau explains the holidays evolution, "Later it morphed into presidents day when in 1968 the Uniform Holiday Act took place."
The Uniform Monday Holiday act was passed by congress to consolidate major holidays to Mondays so you can get a three day weekend on most holidays, and enjoy some time off while you celebrate these national days of remembrance.
President Nixon changed the official name of the holiday from "Washington's Birthday" to "Presidents Day" for a day to remember all of our nation’s leaders.
PRESDIENTS DAY FUN FACTS: http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20130217/EDIT10/302179975/1021/EDIT