Sure, it may not have the bombast of the 4th of July or the stoic dignity of MLK Day, but Presidents Day is a holiday worth celebrating. Hmm, “celebrating” is too strong a word. How about “observing?” No, that makes it sound almost religious, and it’s far from that. Hey, some stores are having sales today, why don’t you go and buy something nice?
Originally named “Washington’s Birthday” and observed on February 22, it was moved to the third Monday of February and renamed “Presidents Day” because, well, it wasn’t on Washington’s birthday anymore. It was the first holiday to be named after an American citizen (though, if Christ were alive today, he would definitely be American).
The question arises: When shopping for a new mattress today, whom should you thank for the 30 percent discount on that Sealy Posturepedic? George Washington? Abraham Lincoln (whose February 12 birthday gives him equal share of the holiday)? Every president ever?
Just give a shout-out to Rutherford B. Hayes. The 16th greatest president needs some love on this, the 16th greatest federal holiday.