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PRESIDENTIAL CELEBRATION What is Presidents’ Day and why do we celebrate it?

George Washington

AMERICANS celebrate the birth of their first president, George Washington, on Presidents’ Day.

But when is Presidents’ Day and what is its history? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Presidents’ Day?

Presidents’ Day is a federal holiday in America celebrated on the third Monday in February.

The holiday commemorates the birthday of George Washington, the first President of the United States born on February 22, 1732.

It was celebrated on February 22, Washington’s actual birthday, until 1971, when it was officially changed to the third Monday in February.

Why do we celebrate Presidents’ Day?

Americans celebrate Presidents’ Day in honour and memory of George Washington.

The holiday is also used to celebrate other presidents’ birthdays, most commonly Abraham Lincoln.

The origin of Presidents’ Day lies in the 1880s, when the birthday of Washington was first celebrated as a federal holiday.

Which businesses and institutions close for the holiday?

Until the late 1980s, most corporate businesses closed on Presidents’ Day like they would on Christmas Day.

Now many remain open and run sales and promotions instead, while federal and state government services — including the U.S. Postal Service — do still close.

Public elementary and secondary schools also generally shut, while many colleges and universities run amended timetables.

The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq usually close with normal trading resuming the next day.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association also recommends that the United States bond market close on Presidents’ Day.

When is Presidents’ Day 2021?

The holiday falls on the third Monday of February annually.

That means in 2021, it will be celebrated on Monday, February 15.

Interestingly, because the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act dictated that the holiday had to fall between February 15 and February 21 each year, Presidents’ Day never actually falls on Washington’s birthday.

What will happen on Presidents’ Day 2021?

The Purple Heart medal, bearing an image of Washington and awarded to those wounded or killed in battle, is given out on Presidents’ Day.

Since 1862, the United States Senate hears Washington’s Farewell Address read aloud by a member of the Senate on the Senate floor, alternating parties each year.

Usually on Presidents’ Day, a special wreath-laying ceremony typically takes places at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

The country’s largest Presidents’ Day Parade is held annually in Alexandria, Virginia, featuring marching bands and historical re-enactments.

But the 2021 parade has been cancelled, with some accompanying events instead taking place virtually.

 

This article was originally published by

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