Unpacking the legacy: understanding Presidents’ Day for students


Preston Elliott

The Lincoln memorial represents the steps to freedom in our country and the appreciation of our presidents’ legacies.

As Presidents’ Day approaches, many students are gearing up for a well-deserved three-day weekend. But beyond the extended break, what is the importance of this federal holiday and why do we celebrate it?

“To me, a president is a leader that sets an example for others and someone who goes out of their way to help other people. The day means honoring our leaders and others who have guided our country and its many struggles,” said Abhinav Garg (‘25).

Presidents’ Day dates back to 1879, when Congress implemented the federal holiday to honor George Washington, the first president of the United States. Initially, the holiday was to take place on February 22, but was changed to the third Monday of every February to conform to federal holiday standards

“It often feels like a two day weekend is not really enough to completely recover and relax. But there is the reason that we have these holidays and they are to recognize specific people in our society providing contributions,” said Aryaditya Lankipalle (‘23).

While originally established to celebrate the birthday of George Washington, it was later expanded to include all past presidents. However, some states still celebrate the day exclusively as Washington’s Birthday.

“”I’m looking forward to this Presidents’ Day weekend not just for the extra day off from school, but also to take some time to reflect on the leaders who have shaped our country and the values they represent,” said Agash Morekonda (‘24). 

Ultimately, Presidents’ Day is celebrated to honor and recognize the contributions of all U.S. presidents throughout history. It serves as a reminder of the leadership and sacrifice required to govern a nation.

“Democracy is important for the students of Amador Valley, because it has the greatest impact on their present and their future. The leaders who govern this democracy are very crucial,” said Tyler Rust.