The History of Presidents’ Day

11 Feb, 2015

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Presidents’ Day didn’t start with the swearing in of George Washington. The origin of “Presidents’ Day” began in 1800, just after the death of President George Washington in 1799. His birthday, Feb.22, became a day of remembrance across most of the country before being signed into law by President Rutherford B. Hayes as an official national holiday in 1879.

George Washington’s Birthday was celebrated each year on Feb. 22 for almost 100 years until Congress began pushing for a measure known as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act; a way to create more three-day weekends by moving federal holidays from their set date to predetermined Mondays. Though some felt this cheapened the true meaning of these holidays, most were in favor of more long weekends!

While Columbus Day, Labor and Memorial Day were among the holidays included in this act, there was a debate on whether or not to combine Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s Birthday (Feb. 12) into a new holiday called Presidents’ Day which would celebrate all of the presidents. Lawmakers from Washington’s home state of Virginia were adamantly opposed to this idea, so according to all federal documents, the holiday is still technically known as Washington’s Birthday.

Over the years, the holiday has taken on a new life with the general public referring to it as Presidents’ Day, with some of the States even officially recognizing it as such. In fact, the list of State titles for this holiday is quite varied, including:

  • Presidents’ Day
  • President’s Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Washington’s Birthday/President’s Day
  • Lincoln/Washington/President’s Day
  • George Washington Day
  • Washington-Lincoln Day
  • Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthday

No matter what you call it, it’s now a chance for people to enjoy a three day weekend in the middle of winter while observing the achievements and storied history of the Office of the President of the United States. And, it’s also become a great time to take advantage of spectacular deals and savings with Presidents’ Day Sales; a trend that started in the 1980s. Thanks Presidents!

Shop hhgregg’s Presidents’ Day Sale

Want to find great deals on your favorite kitchen appliances, electronics and furniture? You can save big at the 2016 Presidents’ Day Sale at hhgregg starting on Feb. 7. With a variety of TV deals, computers on sale and discounts on the best washer dryer combos, you’ll find everything you need for less this February.

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