There's No Such Thing As President's Day

We don’t care what that mattress sale ad says – there is no such thing as a national Presidents’ Day. It’s a myth, like the story about George Washington chopping down a cherry tree and throwing it across the Potomac at Abe Lincoln.

Yes, there is a federal day off on Feb. 20, 2012. But its official name is “Washington’s Birthday.” We’re supposed to celebrate the life and legacy of the Father of Our Country, not the rest of those Mount Rushmoreguys. They can get their own holiday. Thomas Jefferson, we’re looking at you. OK, we know we’re swimming upstream here, because every sale ad in the US this morning will talk about special Presidents’ Day prices. Other media routinely refer to this as Presidents’ Day. It is Presidents’ Day in the popular mind. It just isn’t Presidents’ Day in US law.

Presidents’ Day: five facts you didn’t know about George Washington

Let’s look at the record: Washington’s Birthday has been a federal holiday since 1885. For more than 80 years it was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday, Feb. 22. This ensured that proponents of, say, William Henry Harrison didn’t try to muscle in on the proceedings.

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