Presidents’ Day in the USA
The federal government of the United States proclaimed the third Monday of February as Presidents` Day holiday. However, the issue is rather controversial since many people do not understand its essence. Initially, this holiday was celebrated to honor George Washington, the first US President, a politician and military leader. He dedicated all his life to popularize the principles of American democracy. People liked and respected their leader and his birthday was considered as the national holiday. However, later one more American president made a significant contribution to the country`s well-being. This president was Abraham Lincoln, who did his best to destroy the institute of slavery. Besides, his birthday falls on 12 February, a very close date to Washington’s birthday. Thus, many people consider the national holiday as the opportunity to praise not only George Washington, but also Abraham Lincoln, and even some other key figures in the US history.
How Do Different States Celebrate Presidents` Day?
Although the states are not obliged to adopt federal holidays, this day is usually celebrated with gaiety and enthusiasm in almost all regions. Indeed, this day is a perfect opportunity to remember what historical events and figures influenced the development of the United States. People organize various festivals and parties proving that they highly respect those people who gained democracy and independence for them. The attitude of each state towards the holiday depends on how many presidents they respect. Thus, in some states, people celebrate only the birthday of George Washington considering this person as a key figure in the history of the United States. Some people are less radical in their views and honor the presidents they like. Nobody can claim what is actually wrong and what is right since each state has its own beliefs and traditions of celebration.
The History of the Holiday
Indeed, the history of the holiday has deep roots. George Washington`s birthday was celebrated even when he was alive. However, the holiday became an official event when President Arthur Rutherford B. Hayes decided to turn it into a federal one signing the appropriate law. Although the first attempt to make this day an official holiday failed in 1968, the authors of the idea reached success in 1971. Initially, public consciousness accepted this holiday as George Washington`s birthday, and all attempts to add the birthday of Abraham Lincoln to the federal celebration failed. Thus, the views and opinions of the supporters of the President who preserved the nation during the Civil War and destroyed slavery were not taken into consideration. Nowadays, people are free to celebrate what they want; there are no rules or restrictions.
All in all, many Americans consider Presidents` Day as a perfect opportunity to recognize the impressive achievements of the great men who changed the lives of Americans for better.