February 19, 2019
Have you ever asked yourself, why do we have Presidents’ Day off? Well, you are not alone. Though February 18th is considered nationwide holiday, do people really celebrate this day like Christmas or Halloween? Or do they just take this particular day in the year as a free day off from work or school?
Here is a brief overview as to how Presidents’ Day became a holiday in the first place. Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. This holiday was originally established in 1885 in recognition of former President George Washington, but it became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after the enactment of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nations workers.
Howard County Public School System SuperIntendent Dr. Michael Martirano responded to why Presidents’ Day is a observed holiday for the county. “Fortunately, the answer is quite simple. Presidents’ Day is a state mandated holiday so we are required to observe it.”
While Presidents’ Day is a state mandated holiday, it doesn’t get the same honor or celebration that other observed holidays in Maryland get. For example, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day are two observed and mandated holidays in the state of Maryland, but these two holidays get more recognition and celebration most likely because they have a more significant importance and meaning to people.
In a recent study, Americans were asked to name former presidents that served for the USA. The study showed that most people know Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Obama, Bush Jr. and Clinton, but after Madison and before Bush Sr., their knowledge starts to get very shaky. “Fewer than 20 percent of Americans were able to remember the names and order of more than the last eight or nine presidents.” This study helps prove that people do not know a lot about our former presidents and most likely would not be celebrating this holiday, largely because they don’t care about it.
Presidents’ Day is one of those holidays that barely anyone truly celebrates. One of those reasons is that we don’t truly understand what the holiday means to us and many people don’t believe it is a significant holiday to ourselves. The reason why Christmas and Thanksgiving are widely celebrated holidays is that they have religious and historical meanings for most people, unlike Presidents’ Day. That said, if only a small percentage of the country celebrates Presidents’ Day, then why is it considered a holiday? Americans get a free day off, and many don’t truly observe and remember the former Presidents that represented the country.