Happy Presidents Day 2018 Weekend: President’s Day is a national holiday observed in the US in the month of February. It is observed on the third Monday of the month. The day is originally celebrated in the memory of George Washington, the first ever President of the US.
As the day is been observed marking his birthday, it is also known as ‘Washington’s Birthday’, which popularly was known as President’s Day later on.
President’s Day never falls on any of the US President’s birthday. George Washington, William Henry Harrison, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Regan were born in February, but their birthdays either fall way before or after the President’s Day, but are never seen to fall on the exact day.
Happy Presidents Day 2018
As President’s Day is associated with the birthday of first US President, George Washington, it is officially been called as the ‘Washington’s Birthday’ since the day of its establishment. George Washington was born on 22nd February, 1732 in Bridges Creek of British America and took his last breath at the age of 67, on 14th December, 1799 in Virginia.
For most of the years of the 18th century, Washington’s Birthday was not observed officially. In the late 1870s, the day was officially announced as a national holiday for the whole of the US.
Senator Steven Wallace Dorsey was the first one to come up with the proposal of observing the day as a holiday and in 1879, President Rutherford Hayes signed this into the law. For initial years it was applicable only for the District of Columbia, but in 1885 it was applicable for whole country of the US.
In the late 1960s, Senator Robert McClory of Illinois signed into law proposal passed by Congress. The proposal led to Washington’s Birthday to be transformed to President’s Day according to the Monday Holiday Act. The act then decided to combine the birthday celebrations of Abraham Lincoln along with Washington’s Birthday.
This proposal got a unanimous support from the Americans. The President’s Day weekend is a great time to visit Washington DC and pay tribute to the famous American leaders. In 1865 when Abraham Lincoln passed away, America started celebrating his birthday on 12th February.
Since then 12th February and 22nd February were officially observed as public holidays. President Richard Nixon combined both the holidays into one in 1971 and since all the other US Presidents are honored on the third Monday of February.
Happy Presidents Day Celebrations
The President’s Day is observed as a traditional day in the US as it is the remembrance of the first President of the country and so holds some specific ways of celebrating the day in a patriotic manner. Some special festivities are held at Washington DC throughout the President’s Day weekend.
The newspapers and magazines of every 22nd February used to have the portraits of George Washington. In the year 1932, as it was the 200th birthday of George Washington, a new tradition was started in which the soldiers of the armed forces who were killed or wounded were awarded with a Purple Heart, in the form of military decorations designed by Washington himself. The medal bears Washington’s image on it.
Places To Visit in President’s Day Weekend
The President’s Day weekend is one of the popular times to explore one of the most important memorials. Some people visit the Lincoln Memorial and honor President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday at a coronal (flower arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage or flowers for ornamental purposes) laying ceremony with a dramatic reading of the ‘Gettysburg Address’ takes place.
In 1938, at the Saint Patrick’s Church in the New York City, a mass was held in honor of George Washington which was attended by around 5000 people. In the old times, celebrations were conducted by various patriotic groups and Boy Scouts of America.
The modern times have now been observing some different trends to celebrate the day. The celebratory events commonly include stage celebrations and re-enactment of some historical events; especially the ones related to the life of people in honor of which the President’s Day is observed.
Some schools used to be kept closed for the Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthdays. Some of the public schools used to arrange talks based upon the achievements and lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln; the tradition is still in existence.
By 1980s, work places used to be closed on the President’s Day, whereas after the late 1980s some of the daily services used to stay open. Even the local transit was never kept closed for the day in order to maintain a smooth and uninterrupted flow of public.
As of 1932, i.e. 200th Birth anniversary of Washington, the tradition of honoring the ones serving in the US Armed Forces by awarding them with the Purple Heart medal is observed on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day as well. Some community celebrations also take place wherein a lengthy heritage is displayed.
At the hometown of Washington, parades are organized which go on for long days and even some events in tribute to Washington are held which also last for many days.
President’s Day Designations in Other States of the US
As he Lincoln’s birthday was never observed as a national holiday officially in some parts of the US, the President’s Day was renamed by many states by giving it different names. The states follow the day by different names and observe it as an official holiday.
In places like Hawaii, Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Massachusetts and West Virginia, the day is known as President’s Day itself. In Maine, Illinois, New York and Iowa, the day is named as Washington’s Birthday. In Arizona, Montana and Minnesota it is known as Lincoln’s Birthday or Washington’s Birthday.
Whereas in the places like Colorado and Ohio the days is well known as Washington-Lincoln Day. The country’s largest President’s Day parade is held every year in Virginia along the streets where George Washington used to have a walk.
Washington’s home; the Mount Vernon Estate which is of 500-acres consisting of gardens as well is the place at which special President Day events are carried out for three longs days.
The celebratory events may include music, demonstrations of Washington’s life and achievements, coronal laying ceremony and storytelling. It is a great time to visit the place and witness the events taking place over here. Happy Presidents Day 2018