With Presidents’ Day coming up on Monday, February 17th, we need to all take a step back and think what Presidents’ Day is all about. Yes, most of us view it as a day off school or off work, but what is the real meaning behind Presidents’ Day?
Presidents’ Day was established back in 1885. Surprisingly enough, it was not always known as “Presidents’ Day”. This day was originally created to honor George Washington’s birthday and was celebrated on his exact birthday, February 22nd. This became the first holiday to celebrate the life of an individual American that is classified as a national federal bank holiday. The date did not become known as “Presidents’ Day until after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which was an attempt to create more three-day weekend’s for the nation’s workers. Although the third Monday in February is still listed as “Washington’s birthday” on official calendars, Presidents’ Day is now known as a day to celebrate all United States Presidents, past and present. Presidents’ Day is used by many patriotic and historical groups as a date for staging celebrations, reenactments, and other such events.
Many states require that their public schools spend the days leading up to Presidents’ Day teaching their students about the accomplishments of the presidents, often with the focus on the lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who happen to be the most recognized leaders. Abraham Lincoln is often named the number one most influential president due to his actions leading to the abolition of slavery. Lincoln is then followed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with his recognition in leadership throughout World War II and his hard work to end the Great Depression. The third most influential president known is, George Washington for becoming the first president of the United States, setting the precedents that would be later followed by other presidents.
Although, these three Presidents are often noted as the most influential, we must not forget some of the most underrated presidents that really do deserve more credit than given. Such as John Tyler for using his veto power the way Washington intended as a check on unconstitutional legislation. We must not either forget Grover Cleveland for being the last traditional American conservative in the executive office. Cleveland favored low taxes, light spending, low debt, and low tariffs. Last but certainly not least, Martin Van Buren, who pushed for the sound money policy. Van Buren’s “independent treasury” rescued the American economy from inflation and a deep depression.
So, from here at Sharn Enterprises, Inc, we encourage everyone to remember and celebrate the past and present presidents of the United States this Presidents’ Day!
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Roger A. Wandersee