Celebrating President’s Day

Celebrating President’s Day

Ethan Nguyen, Contributor

President’s Day, officially Washington’s Birthday, is a holiday in the United States celebrated on the third Monday of February. It is a holiday to celebrate all the people who served in office of president of the United States and US veterans. Celebrating President’s Day is a super important holiday because the presidents and veterans of the United States is what really helped America keep in shape. But how did President’s Day started?

George Washington, the first president of the United States

The first president of the United States was George Washington. He really shaped and help build America to what it is now today. He was doing so well that he served two terms as president. For being the first president of the United States, George Washington really did his job well.

It first started as Washington’s Birthday. The federal holiday honoring Washington was originally implemented by an Act of Congress in 1879. As the first federal holiday to honor an American president, the holiday was celebrated on Washington’s birthday, February 22. However, on January 1st 1971, the holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Abraham Lincoln was also celebrated on Washington’s Birthday although not being official in some states.

However, President’s Day was changing in 1951, which changed from celebrating Washington, to celebrating every president in the United States. The President’s Day National Committee, formed by Harold Stonebridge Fischer of Compton, California, said that Washington’s Birthday should be renamed to President’s Day to celebrate not just Washington, but every president in the United States.

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act has officially renamed it to President’s Day, to honor both George Washington and the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. However, this proposal failed in committee, and the bill was voted on and signed into law on June 28, 1968, keeping the name “Washington’s Birthday.” Finally, on February 21st, 1971, former president Richard Nixon changed the name to President’s Day which celebrated all of the US presidents.

So why is President’s Day important?

President’s Day honors the presidents who took office in the United States. Without our presidents, America wouldn’t be where it is today. Even the first president Washington, helped pioneered the role as president. However, the holiday just wasn’t a holiday just for presidents.

Besides presidents, President’s Day honors its veterans, who fought in wars. The holiday is also a tribute to the general who created the first military badge of merit for the common soldier, the Purple Heart. The Purple Heart award is given to soldiers who were injured during warfare. As with Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Washington’s Birthday offers another opportunity for the United States to honor its veterans.

The Purple Heart medal

President’s Day is a holiday we should celebrate. Not only does it celebrate our presidents of the United States, but also the US veterans. Without them, we wouldn’t be here today.