Three Weird Facts About President's Day
President’s Day has been around since 1800. Since then, the holiday has taken on some unusual practices across the United States. Below are three weird facts you may not have known about President’s Day.
Many states do not celebrate President’s Day.
Although it is a federal holiday, President’s Day is not celebrated by all states, nor is it even celebrated the same way by the states that do observe it. The states that do not observe President’s Day include Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.
Since the observance of the holiday varies from state to state, it might not be noticeable that the state you are in does not celebrate President’s Day. For instance, while it originally was moved to the third Monday of February in order to give another three-day weekend to the nation’s workers, corporate businesses have not closed on that day since the 1980’s. Federal postal services and public transit systems run regular routes, and universities hold regular classes. But you might notice, if your state does not celebrate President’s Day, that you also do not have any President’s Day sales at car dealerships. These celebrations, or perhaps lack thereof, do not seem to be connected to Washington or any other president, but the purpose of President’s day remains the same: to honor the accomplishments of the man known as “The Father of This Country.”
What’s in a Name?
Interestingly enough, among the states that celebrate President’s Day, there is a discrepancy on what the holiday is called. It is federally recognized as Washington’s Birthday, per its origins. But states like Montana, Ohio, Utah, Colorado, and Minnesota celebrate “Washington and Lincoln’s Birthday” on the third Monday of February. The inclusion of Lincoln in this holiday is explainable, but Alabama celebrates “George Washington/Thomas Jefferson Birthday”, despite the fact that Thomas Jefferson’s birthday is in April. Additionally, Arkansas celebrates “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day.”
Besides name discrepancies, there are also date discrepancies. For the most part, President’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February. However, a few states are an exception to this:
- Georgia celebrates Washington’s Birthday on December 24th.
- Indiana observes Washington’s Birthday on either Christmas Eve, the day after Christmas, or the day after Thanksgiving.
- New Mexico celebrates President’s Day the day after Thanksgiving.
Little is known as to why these states choose to observe President’s Day on different dates, but the intent is the same - to honor the accomplishments of George Washington, and those who came after him in taking on the intimidating position of president of the United States.
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