Honoring President’s Day


Graphic Credit: Ethan Wu

Katy Zhang, Editor-in-chief

On Feb. 21, the US public will celebrate Presidents’ day, a national holiday created in recognition of all US Presidents that has been observed ever since the beginning of this nation during the 1790s. 

The history of this holiday has been complicated and has changed its meaning over the centuries. First, it was created simply to celebrate the birthday of George Washington, the first president, however after his death, the celebration continues to grow popular and expand towards the entire nation. In 1865, Presidents’ day became a federal holiday following the signing of the official observance by President Chester A.Arthur. However, up until then, the holiday was solely dedicated to President George Washington himself. This took a turn during the 1960s when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which moved the number of federal holidays to Monday to schedule certain holidays so workers had a number of long weekends.

 This caused a debate within the country as many suggested that this holiday should be celebrated on the dates they actually commemorate. However, others proposed that changing the holiday name from Washington’s Birthday to President’s Day can honor both Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday that occur in February. After the bill’s passing in 1971, Presidents’ day officially became how it is celebrated today. Many communities and national organizations host parades and discussions about the patriotism and the sacrifices these presidents have made to the country and what citizens should do to protect these ideals. 

Though Presidents’ day might not be as widely acknowledged for its meaning, I believe the day is still an important holiday as it is able to feel grateful for the progress we have made as a country, but more importantly reflect on the mistakes we’ve made and the challenges we face in order to improve and become a better nation together. 

Below are some resources that you can use to educate yourself on the Presidents and the U.S government system: