Presidents’ Day is an American Federal holiday celebrated on every third Monday of February every year to honor all individuals who served as American presidents.
President’s Day will occur on Monday, February 20, 2023. The holiday is recognized as Washington’s Birthday on the federal calendar. Presidents’ Day honors George Washington’s birthday and for being United States’ First President. In addition, some States honor Abraham Lincoln, while others celebrate all US Presidents during this holiday.
The Story Behind Presidents’ Day:
During his lifetime, George Washington paid little attention to his birthday and often commemorated it by attending to national matters or responding to letters at Mount Vernon. However, his humility in life did not permit him to engage in flashy celebrations. Unofficial birthday celebrations continued even after his death in 1799, but the parameters changed in 1879 when it was replaced with “Presidents’ Day.”.
Washington’s birthday was always commemorated on February 22 until 1968 when congress passed the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act.” The Act provided one annual observance of several official holidays on Mondays. In addition, the law aimed at giving workers more three-day weekends. Under this Act, Presidents’ Day was placed in the third month of February, partially losing its connection to Washington’s Birthday.
The idea of changing the holiday’s name from Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day was to create a holiday that upholds the works and efforts of the presidency office. This mutual recognition also recognizes the birthday of President Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, who was born on February 12, 1809.
20 Fun and Interesting Facts About a Few of Our American Presidents:
1. Abraham Lincoln declined an animal labor offer.
In 1861, Abraham Lincoln declined an offer from the King of Siam to host and breed Elephants. The King suggested they could multiply and be used as “beasts of burden” alongside the military during the Civil war. Instead, the President opted to use steam power over animal labor.
2. Gerald Ford was once a model!
Before Gerald Ford became the 38th President of the United States, he had a side gig as a model! In 1942, he was featured on the Cosmopolitan cover in his Navy uniform. Here is more! He married a fellow model, Elizabeth Bloomer.
3. William Howard Taft had custom-made bathtubs
Have you ever heard that President Howard got stuck in a bathtub and had to be pulled by six men? That’s just a myth! The truth is that the 27th president, who weighed about 340-350 pounds, had massive custom-made tubs in the White House.
4. Herbert Hoover did not want to see his White House Staff
The 31st President of the US, Herbert Hoover, did not want to see his White House staff and insisted they should also not see him. The workers were forced to hide behind the nearest bushes or closest closets to avoid any contact with the President. According to Hoover, this hide-and-seek game in the White House boosted a sense of privacy.
5. President John Quincy Adams was a great swimmer
John Quincy, the 6th president of the United States, is probably the first US president who loved swimming. By the time he was in power, there was no pool in the White House, so he was forced to go swimming in the Potomac River. Since swimsuits did not exist during this era, the President swam nude.
6. George Washington grew cannabis (hemp)
Please don’t overthink. Our first president grew hemp which is part of the cannabis family. The President did hemp farming in his Mount Vernon estate for industrial use, such as canvas-making and rope meaning.
7. Ulysses S. Grant got arrested for horse speeding
Grant, the 18th president of the US, is remembered for his confidence in horse riding. Grant was pulled over twice within 24 hours while driving his horse at a furious pace. One bold officer decided to arrest the President, who was fined for speeding.
8. Franklin Roosevelt became the first President to appoint a woman to his cabinet
The 32nd president appointed Frances Perkins as the secretary of labor in 1933. Perkins had previously worked for Roosevelt when he was New York’s governor.
9. Thomas Jefferson hated public speaking
Would it shock you that the 3rd president of the US had some stage fright? He did! Jefferson detested public speaking so much that throughout his presidency, he only gave two speeches- one speech per term. He introduced a new tradition of sending State of the Union speeches as written documents.
10. William Henry Harrison made the longest inauguration speech to-date
The 9th president of the US is believed to have made the longest speech (8445 words) during his inauguration. He wrote the speech himself and read it for one hour and 45 minutes while out in a snowstorm. Unfortunately, he died a month later due to pneumonia complications. Harrison had the shortest time in the presidency because he died after only 32 days in office.
11. Abraham Lincoln was a great wrestler
Abraham Lincoln’s favorite sport as a young man was wrestling. He was a mighty man who could easily lift 600 pounds. Lincoln’s name is in the wrestling hall of fame because of his excellent fighting skills. This 16th president of America only lost one match out of the 300 he engaged in as a young man.
12. Andrew Johnson never went to school
Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the US and a member of the democratic political party, never went to school. This is because he came from an impoverished background. He was apprenticed to a local tailor at 14 but later ran away. He returned at the age of 17, where he set up his tailoring shop before eventually joining politics.
13. Benjamin Harrison feared electric shock
Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of America, and his house became the first people to use electricity in the White House. However, they refused to operate the light switches for fear of being electrocuted. The workers in the White House were in charge of switching the lights on and off.
14. John F. Kennedy donated his yearly salary
John Kennedy was the 35th president and the wealthiest person to take the presidential office. Born and brought up in wealth and prestige, Kennedy donated all his presidential and congressional salaries to charity.
15. Gerald Ford was a footballer
The 38th president of America was a star football player during his university years. He, however, turned down offers from Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.
16. Ronald Reagan was a fussy eater
Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of America, loved Jelly beans, especially licorice flavor. However, according to his wife, he did not like Brussels sprouts and tomatoes.
17. Barrack Obama was an excellent orator
Barrack Obama was the first African American person to become the President of the United States. Before becoming the 44th president of America, Obama won two Grammy Awards for “Best Spoken Word Album.”
18. Bill Clinton was a musician
Clinton, the 42nd president of America, was a saxophone player. He famously played the organ on the Arsenio Hall Show as a presidential candidate
19. Donald J. Trump was an entrepreneur
Donald Trump was a real estate developer and entrepreneur before becoming the 45th president of the United States. He also hosted an NBC reality show called “The Apprentice.”
20. Joe Biden was bullied as a child
The President of the United States struggled with depilating childhood stutter in grade school. Fortunately, he overcame the condition after enduring so much bullying.
Why Celebrate Presidents’ Day
To learn more about our history
There is a famous saying, “knowledge is power.” Those without knowledge of where they are coming from barely understand where they are going. Presidents’ Day lets us know about past leaders’ successes and failures and their direct effect on our current state.
Presidents’ Day is a great day to notice and respect the legacy of the people before use. While the acts of these leaders seem like they happened a long time ago, we can all agree that they have been a significant force behind every aspect of our society.
The story of where the country’s leadership came from is a significant inspiration to the current generation. “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness” are meant for all of us, and we must ensure we achieve them.
5 Incredible Ways to Honor Presidents’ Day 2023
1. Prepare a President-inspired meal
Presidents’ Day started as George Washington’s Birthday celebration, and there is no better way to celebrate a birthday than with good food. So consider preparing some of Washington’s favorite foods. You could, for example, prepare Fish as a main course since President Washington was said to be very fond of it. You could also consider baking since his wife was a more extraordinary baker. Alternatively, you could choose to prepare a favorite meal of any other president you are fond of.
2. Start a self-improvement plan that aligns with Presidential values
One of the things we celebrate on Presidents’ Day is the character strength of great men such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington demonstrated throughout their lives. There is no better way to remember these leaders than to vow to develop stronger characters ourselves.
You can devise a workable plan as a family or as an individual. But first, identify your flaws and determine how you can correct them henceforth. You could also seek help on the things you cannot change.
3. Go for a hike
President George Washington was famous for working outdoors as a surveyor in the Virginia wilderness. You can honor that part of his life by spending some time outside enjoying Mother Nature just like he used to do. Pack snacks and enjoy the outdoors with your family at the beach or your favorite park. Don’t forget to take pictures for future memories.
If you can access the ocean, river, or lake, consider a kayak ride or a swim in honor of President Washington’s crossing of Delaware. Don’t worry if you can’t do any of the above exercises; even walking around the block will be a great way to commemorate the great Day.
4. Read a favorite book
Your home area may still be too chilly to go out on President’s Day. You can still have fun by doing some indoor activities, such as reading books about the history of America, American leadership, or race relations in the US, among other related reads. You could also find age-appropriate books for your kids. Take a walk to a local library, let them select their favorite books, and later have a read-aloud session.
5. Write a letter to the President.
This is an excellent activity for families as it motivates kids to think of important issues around them and the country. Writing will also give younger kids a great platform to improve their writing skills. This form of writing will also boost your children’s critical thinking skills.
Ensure that all the kids are actively involved in the composition of the letter; ask them about the things they want to see change. Ask them what they love about America and include them in the letter. Ensure that the letter contains both strengths and weaknesses of the country. These are just a few suggestions; you can develop more creative, meaningful ideas.
15 Timeless Quotes to Honor Presidential Day
- “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, imagination,n and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” – Harry S. Truman.
- “Change will not come if we wait for someone, or if we wait for some other time.”- Barack Obama.
- “The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.” – George Washington
- “Never be satisfied with less than your very best effort. If you strive for the top and miss, you’ll still ‘beat the pack.'”- Gerald R. Ford
- “99% of failures come from people who make excuses.” – George Bush.
- “I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty.” – Woodrow Wilson
- “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader”- John Adams
- “The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor, and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.” – John F. Kennedy
- “You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can.” – Jimmy Carter
- “Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.” – Abraham Lincoln:
- “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy
- Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”– George Washington.
- “War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed.”– William McKinley.
- “A president’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right.” – Lyndon Johnson.
- “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”– Abraham Lincoln.
Presidents’ Day FAQs
Do all states honor Presidents’ Day?
Presidents’ Day is an official holiday in many states, but not all. Despite being a federal holiday, states can observe it or not. They also have the freedom to choose what to call it. Some states call it Presidents’ Day, while others call it Washington’s Birthday, Washington and Lincoln’s Day, Presidents’ Day, or Presidents’ Day, among other names.
What happens if a President refuses to leave office?
The constitution does not address what would happen if such a scenario occurred.
The Constitutional Convention delegates of 1787 never imagined a president would attempt to stay in office after their term expired. Nothing much will be done since a president seizes to be President when their term expires after the election year.
What is the origin of the “White House” name?
While the presidential residence has always been painted white, it was initially called ‘The President’s Palace’ and ‘The Executive Mansion’ until late 1901, when President Roosevelt called it “The White House .” The 26th President of the US made the moniker legal when he had it engraved on the building.
We, Kids on the Yard, wish you and your family a Happy Presidents’ Day!
Please learn more about us and the services we offer by clicking here.