Mount Rushmore National Memorial, near Keystone, South Dakota. From left to right the U.S. Presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
Third Monday of the month February is a federal holiday in the US due to the commemoration of President Washington. President’s Day or Washington’s Birthday honors all the presidents of the US.
Why the President’s day is celebrated?
George Washington served as the president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Besides being the president, he was a military general, statesman, and founding father. He contributed a lot in the American Revolution which earned him the term “Father of his country.”
District of Columbia was the first one to celebrate his birthday as a holiday in 1880. After five years, the holiday was made federal. Originally, people celebrated George Washington’s birthday as a holiday which was on February,22. But, in 1971, it was modified to third Monday of the February.
Now, colloquially, his birthday is known as President’s Day. Change in the date was made keeping in mind that employees will get relatively longer weekends. But, some people protested that Washington’s day should be celebrated on his actual birthday only.
President’s day remembers all the president who has served as the president till now including the one which is in power now.
He was a great president which made him popular in the country. People remembered him and made him immortal by having him on currency. One dollar bill and the quarter dollar coin has the image of George Washington. How can we forget the capital of the United States which is named after him? Mount Rushmore has George Washington sculpted on it out of all the four presidents.
Sometimes, it is also referred to that President’s day is celebrated due to two President, one being George Washington himself and the other is Abraham Lincoln. No matter whose birthday it falls on, both are equally dignified.
Traditions of President’s Day
People eat cherry pie on this day remembering the cut down of a big cherry tree in Washington’s young age.
Till the 1980s, all the businesses and sales were closed on this day which is quite similar to Christmas Day. But when the holiday moved to the third Monday of February, sales and businesses were open with sales and attractive offers. Federal and state government services close down on this day. Classes in the Universities and Elementary schools differ according to their respective rules.
Community celebrations are held extensively. In his museums, visitors become part of his birthday celebration.
There is a long coming tradition of reading George Washington’s Farewell Address in the Senate since 1862.