Posted by: Burlington Public Library (WA) | February 14, 2013

President’s Day approaches

If you want to learn about President’s Day, come on over now, cause we’re closed on Monday!

Here’s a quick summary of the origin of this holiday.  Well, maybe not so quick; exactly what you are celebrating next Monday actually depends on where you live.

It was in the 1880’s that George Washington’s birthday was made a federal holiday.  Then in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which moved holidays to Mondays, so as to create long weekends for workers.  Because Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was never a federal holiday, some people wanted to add Lincoln (their birthdays are February 22 and 12, respectively) and call it President’s Day… but in fact that did not pass.

Now, states are not required to observe federal holidays. So some states celebrate Washington’s birthday, some celebrate Lincoln’s birthday, and some celebrate President’s Day — which, as you know, does not officially include Lincoln; but the will of the power overpowered Congress (which you must admit isn’t something that happens very often), and between businesses promoting sales, and the day of the celebration being almost exactly between the two birthdays, just about everybody (other than our nation’s lawmakers) believes they’re celebrating both Washington and Lincoln on the third Monday of every February.

Only in America, right?

Well, wherever you live and whomever you’d like to celebrate, have a great day next Monday.  We’ll be open on Tuesday as usual, to help you answer this and any other vexing questions that arise.
–Mary Beth

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