Celebrate Presidents’ Day!
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
~The United States Presidential Oath of Office
On Presidents Day, America honors all who’ve presided over “The Highest Office in the Land.” Formerly known as Washington’s Birthday, this federal holiday took a few turns toward recognizing all Commanders-in-Chief as it’s celebrated every third Monday in February.
Beginning with the observance of George Washington’s birthday on February 22 in 1879, the holiday was limited to the District of Columbia, but broadened to include the rest of the country by 1885. Nearly a century later, Congress sought to realign the dates of several federal holidays to select Mondays with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in the late 1960s. It received mixed reception, as some felt it weakened each holiday’s meaning, while others offered their full-fledged support, particularly from the private sector and labor unions.
Senator Robert McClory of Illinois proposed renaming the holiday Presidents’ Day, but
it faced considerable opposition from Washington’s home state. Even after becoming
an official holiday, Washington’s Birthday continued to be referred to by many as Presidents’ Day.
With the holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February instead of the 22nd of the month, some believed it was an attempt to recognize both Washington and Lincoln as it landed between their birthdays. Still, many members of Congress objected to a name encompassing all presidents but the world of retail saw things differently.
With the holiday now creating a 3-day weekend, stores now saw opportunity for winter sales, and advertisers jumped on the bandwagon with “Presidents’ Day Sale” notices. Nevertheless, Congress still recognizes it as Washington’s Birthday, and lists it as such.
PRESIDENTIAL TRIVIA QUIZ!
1) On June 6, 1892, this 23rd President, was the first to attend a baseball game
(Cincinnati Reds vs.Washington Senators)
2) The first President born after the signing of the Declaration of Independence was ________________.
3) Who was the only President to ever appear on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.”
4) The only President to remain a bachelor was _________________.
5) Which five Presidents were never elected, but assumed the office of President?
1) Benjamin Harrison; 2) Martin Van Buren; 3) Richard Nixon; 4) James Buchanan
5) Chester Arthur, Millard Fillmore, Gerald Ford, Warren Harding, William Taft