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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Presidents’ Day: A celebration of America’s past and present leaders

Presidents+Day+will+be+celebrated+on+Feb.+19th+this+year+throughout+the+United+States.
Rebecca Mestel
Presidents’ Day will be celebrated on Feb. 19th this year throughout the United States.

Every third Monday in February, the federal U.S. holiday Presidents’ Day is celebrated throughout the states. This holiday grants workers and students a day off from their jobs and school. However, although many students know why the day is given off, the complete history behind Presidents’ Day may not be as known.

“Presidents’ Day is the day where we celebrate past and present presidents,” said Malvika Nagaraj (‘26).

Students understand that Presidents’ Day is to celebrate George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s February birthdays and to commemorate all presidents who have served the U.S.. However, there is a reason why it is celebrated on the third Monday of February.

Beginning in 1879, George Washington’s birthday was celebrated on Feb. 22 until 1970. To give all federal workers a three-day weekend, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 established this federal holiday on the third Monday of February.

Some states also celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12. Since Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays were close together, this celebration was combined into Presidents’ Day. 

“They helped our country by leading it through to prosperity and making big changes to our government for the better,” said Nagaraj.

George Washington was the United States’ first president. Before his presidency, he was a general who led the Continental Army to victory during the Revolutionary War. Washington was chosen to be a delegate for the Constitutional Convention (a meeting of delegates from all states excluding Rhode Island) held in Pennsylvania in May 1787. Here, Washington played a role in getting rid of the Articles of Confederation and forming a new constitution that is still in effect today. 

Similarly, Abraham Lincoln contributed to leading the nation during the American Civil War after vowing to preserve the Union. Furthermore, he abolished the ongoing slavery in the U.S. with the Emancipation Proclamation. He also modernized the economy by establishing national financial institutions to decrease America’s economic instability.

Since 1879, Presidents’ Day continues to serve as a tribute to the presidents of the United States. Federal workers and students take the day off to celebrate the achievements made by each president that served to make the U.S. what it is today. 

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