Presidents’ Day or President’s Day?

Many people welcome the arrival of the third Monday in February.  Hawaii has their Kaiser Permanente Great Aloha Run every year on the date and countless of Americans have the day off.  However, do we really know anything about this holiday?  Today we take a brief look at the significance of this day and figure out how to spell it!

George Washington was the first Washington's Birthday is the official holiday we celebrate every third Monday of February. (PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.commons.wikimedia.org)

The actual name for the holiday is Washington’s Birthday.  It was established by Congress in the 1880 for government offices in Washington D.C.  By 1885, the holiday expanded to all federal offices.  Initially the holiday fell on the date of George Washington’s birthday, February 22nd.  But in 1971, the holiday was moved to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.  The Congressional act meant that the holiday would now fall between February 15-21 and miss Washington’s actual birthday.  There have been several attempts to officially rename the holiday, however all have failed.

The term President’s/Presidents’ Day was created by the business sector looking for an extra holiday time to run large sales.  The reason for the variation of spelling is because there is a discrepancy as to who is being celebrated.  President‘s Day signifies the honoring of George Washington.  Presidents’ Day honors the office of the President.

That was the brief history lesson behind the holiday!  Hope everyone enjoys the extended weekend.

FYI:

During Washington’s time, his birth date changed from February 11 to February 22.  Initially the Julian Calendar was used by the English Colonies.  However, the Gregorian Calendar was adopted in 1752 and Washington chose to observe the translated date of February 22.

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