What is Presidents Day All About?

Snopes knows:

Some of us think we’re observing George Washington’s Birthday…some of us think we’re celebrating the combined birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (two formerly separate holidays smushed into one), and some of us think we’re honoring the memory of all U.S. presidents past and present. Which is it?

…the observance of Washington’s Birthday was made official in 1885 when President Chester Alan Arthur signed a bill establishing it as a federal holiday…

However, the seeds of confusion were sown in 1968 with the passage of a piece of legislation known as Uniform Holidays Bill, intended to create more three-day weekends for federal employees by moving the observance of three federal holidays (Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day) from fixed calendar dates to designated Mondays, and by establishing Columbus Day (also to be observed on a Monday) as a new federal holiday. Under this act, from 1971 onwards the observance date of Washington’s Birthday would be relocated from February 22 to the third Monday in February. (Oddly enough, this change guaranteed that Washington’s Birthday would never again be celebrated on his “actual” birthday of February 22, as the third Monday in February cannot fall any later than February 21.)

..The concept of combining Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays into one holiday called “President’s Day” was floated as far back as the early 1950s…

President Nixon is frequently identified as the party responsible for changing Washington’s Birthday into President’s Day and fostering the notion that it is a day for commemorating all U.S. Presidents…

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