Angela has fifteen years of teaching experience, primarily in Special Education and Gifted Education at the K-12 level. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education and Special Education, K-12. In addition, she has a M.A.Ed. in Special Education with an emphasis in Gifted, K-12. Angela has had several research and review articles published in education journals.
Everybody likes vacations. A day off from work or school is something to look forward to! Many people associate President's Day with a long, three-day weekend in February. But there is important history behind this holiday.
President's Day is a government holiday that celebrates the United States presidents on the third Monday in February each year. Let's discover more about how this holiday came to be.
Did you know that the real name for President's Day is Washington's Birthday? Our first president, George Washington, was born on February 22, 1732. So after his death in 1799, February 22nd became an important day to honor his life and work.
But it wasn't until 1879 that Washington's Birthday became a federal, or government, holiday. When President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law, it became official. It was the first federal holiday to celebrate an individual person. Other federal holidays we celebrate include Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Which one is your favorite?
How would you feel if you had to celebrate your birthday on a different day? A lot of kids wouldn't think that was fair. In 1968, the United States Congress decided that it would be in the American worker's best interest to change the celebration of Washington's Birthday to a Monday. This way workers could enjoy a three-day weekend. The bill was called the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, and it changed several holidays to fall on a Monday.
During this time, it was suggested that the name of the holiday, Washington's Birthday, be changed to President's Day. Abraham Lincoln's birthday is on February 12th, and many people wanted to honor him, too. Believe it or not, the name was never formally changed. However, the name President's Day was catchy and became popular in the 1980s. Today, most people call it this.
What do you like to do on President's Day? Similar to Independence Day, President's Day is considered a patriotic holiday, when we can show devotion, loyalty and support of one's country. Many people choose to honor all American presidents on this day. Many groups, schools, and organizations hold celebrations and events.
One of the most important President's Day celebrations happened on February 22, 1932. George Washington created the Badge of Military Merit, today known as the Purple Heart, to honor soldiers who were wounded or killed. The first three purple hearts were awarded way back during the Revolutionary War and were presented on a piece of purple silk. But the award wasn't restored, or brought back, until 1932 on George Washington's 200th birthday. Today the Purple Heart continues to honor soldiers and is the oldest military decoration.
President's Day is a federal holiday, observed on the third Monday of February. The official name for the holiday is Washington's Birthday. It was celebrated each year on February 22nd until the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill was passed in 1968.
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