Presidents’ Day is a public holiday in the United States. Traditionally, it is celebrated on the third Monday of February.

February is known as the birth month of two of the country’s most prominent presidents – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Washington and Lincoln, who led the United States in the most difficult times, have long been deeply admired by many people. Presidents’ Day is now a celebration of birthdays and honoring all American presidents.

Presidents’ Day is usually celebrated with public ceremonies in Washington, D.C., and across the country. Despite the fact that many state institutions will be closed, a number of enterprises offer special holiday sales.

History

The origin of Presidents’ Day dates back to the 1880s, when the birthday of George Washington – the first president of the United States and commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution – began to be celebrated as a federal holiday.

At that time, Washington was revered as the most important figure in American history. Many events, such as the centenary of his birth in 1832 and the beginning of the construction of the Washington Monument in 1848, have become an occasion for national celebrations.

In 1968, the U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which moved several federal holidays to one day. This change was aimed at scheduling festive events, and so that employees could take advantage of the long weekend. However, the law was criticized by those Americans who believed that these holidays should be celebrated on the dates on which they originally fell.

During the discussion of the bill, it was proposed to rename Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day in honor of the birthdays of Washington (February 22) and Lincoln (February 12). Although Lincoln’s birthday was celebrated in many states, it was never an official federal holiday. After much discussion, Congress rejected the name change.

However, after the bill went into effect in 1971, Presidents’ Day became a universally recognized name, partly due to the fact that retailers used this name to stimulate sales, as well as due to the proximity of the holiday to Lincoln’s birthday.