Happy Presidents Day from the Gatlinburg Daily Post

The foundations of American society can be found in the work and achievements of our founding fathers. The work and bravery of these select few created a republic that has stood the test of time. In honor of these men, Presidents Day was created. Presidents Day this year is today, Monday, February 19, 2018. How did this holiday get started?

The holiday’s origins begins at the death of the nation’s first great leader, President George Washington. in 1799. At the time Washington was revered as the most important figure in the blossoming America. The holiday was originally conceived to fall on February 22, the Presidents birthday; however, the holiday has never actually been celebrated on Washington’s Birthday.

The shift to Presidents Day being an actual holiday began in the 1960’s with the championing of Robert McClory of Illinois’ Uniform Holiday Act. The act sought to shift the celebration of several federal holidays from specific dates to predetermined Mondays. The hope was to create more 3 day weekends for the nation’s workers. It also sought to combine the birthdays of President Lincoln and President Washington to form Presidents Day. The act and this combination passed in its final form in 1971, following an executive order by President Nixon.

While Washington and Lincoln sill remain the two most recognized leaders in American history, Presidents Day is now popularly seen as a day to recognize the lives and achievements of all of America’s chief executives. Presidents Day has a reputation of being viewed as a time of patriotic celebration and remembrance, and the day is often spent celebrating with parades and other showings of patriotic spirit.

Teachers use the days leading up to Presidents Day by teaching students about the accomplishments of Presidents. These fundamental lessons will remind students of the immense responsibilities and battles that many went through so that America could become the country that it is.

Presidents Day might see a decrease, or possibly even an increase, in observance this year, due to the somewhat unstable political climate. Political opinions aside, the holiday can still be used as a learning tool to remind us of the nation’s humble origins and the beginning of the American dream. Happy Presidents Day from all of us at the Gatlinburg Daily Post!

Source: Elizabeth Lane, Gatlinburg Daily Post Staff Writer