Happy day in between Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras!
More commonly it’s known as President’s Day, or is it Presidents’ Day? There’s an ongoing debate over where that apostrophe should go.
Technically according to the original federal statute, designating the third Monday of February in honor of our first president, today should be known as Washington’s Birthday.
The confusion started around 1968 when an attempt was made to turn the holiday into a celebration of both Washington and Lincoln’s birthday.
And the situation wasn’t helped at all in 1971 when Nixon proclaimed the federal holiday, “Presidents’ Day.” This was an attempt to have the holiday include all US presidents.
That went over so well that since then the holiday has become commonly known as President’s Day, and that poor apostrophe has found itself in the middle of an epic battle.
Of course, no federal statute or presidential proclamation is going to keep each state from celebrating whatever they want to on this third Monday of February.
In Virginia they stick with tradition. President’s Day celebrates our founding father and no one else.
In Massachusetts they root for the home team and honor John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge, and John Kennedy.
And in New Mexico they celebrate President’s Day with the biggest shopping day of the year. They celebrate President’s Day the day after Thanksgiving.
Most of us probably don’t really care who the holiday honors as long as we get the day off from work and some great three-day sales.
But isn’t it nice to know the history behind that great deal you got on the latest addition to your wardrobe?
More On President’s Day: Fun Facts
…and some patriotism courtesy of the Muppets: