President's Day

Washington’s Birthday was first celebrated as a national holiday in 1879. The universally-popular first president of the United States is widely considered the father of the country. As such, it was natural for his birthday to become the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen. 

While there was one brief attempt in the 1950s to create a more-inclusive President's Day, the bill died in committee. It wasn't until the mid-1980s that Washington's Birthday expanded to include a celebration of Abraham Lincoln, and became known as President's Day. 

However, in many places the name change was an informal one, which means that some states still have wildly varying legal names for the holiday. For example,

  • Alabama calls it Washington and Jefferson Day
  • Virginia (Washington's home state) calls it George Washington Day. 

    Observing President's Day

    • Originally, President's Day meant that all stores, schools, and government offices were closed on the third Monday in February.

    • But many retail outlets, especially car dealerships, have turned the holiday into a major three-day sale weekend. In contrast, many schools now take an entire week off during February.


    President's Day Celebration
    • Mostly, families use the three-day weekend as an excuse for a short getaway, or they go shopping to take advantage of the sales.

    • Historical sites (especially in Virginia) hold a variety of celebrations and parades. Alexandria, Virginia, holds a month-long tribute to Washington, and a parade on his birthday. 

    • It's also partially a holiday to honor veterans, as Washington was the inventor of the Purple Heart, and the medal bears his image.


    Visit a Presidential Landmark

    You can search for a place near your home where celebration is ongoing for the big event and pay a visit with the kids. You can take loads of pictures, enjoy open-air lunch and reminisce over the fabulous past history of your country.


    Have a President's Potluck

    Do you know that cherry pie was a George Washington favourite and Clinton just loves cheeseburgers? Do some research about the President's gastronomic interests and request your friends to bring one dish each that's a President's delight. 


    Meet up at a museum

    Museums generally give heavy discount on the “President's Day weekend” and you can enjoy walking down the memory lane and paying homage to the shapers of the nation. Be it an art, natural history or war museum, you can find some displays in honor of the Presidents that appease your taste buds. Museums offer weekend celebration packages at a very affordable rate and you can spend quality time for a small price.


    Find a festival

    A whole lot of festivities take place throughout the country and you can plan to be a part of something that interests you. Sporting events like marathon are quite popular and you might also include yourself as a part of some activity like retelling of historical speeches of past presidents if it interests you. Washington DC hosts multitude of colorful programs that might captivate your interest.


    Kick the ball

    This is good news for soccer lovers as various events are held every year in small and large settings. You can get your adrenaline pumping by participating in a local soccer match or by watching a television casting whichever way you feel good. You can organize a charitable soccer event in your own locality and get everyone involved for some good cause.