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We all remember celebrating President’s Day at school, which is about commemorating birthdays.
……Birthdays of some prominent personalities who made a significant impact on the political history of America.
The United States had many great presidents, out of 44 presidents who served at the office there were two great presidents “George Washington” and “Abraham Lincoln” who influenced major political upheavals in the American history.
There are only a few days of separation between Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, 12th February and George Washington’s birthday, 22nd February. This is the main reason, Americans think about these two great presidents while celebrating the holiday. In, general, it is a tribute to all the presidents who served the great nation of America. The day is declared as a national holiday for the Federal employees, the post office, and banks.
Although the origin of the Presidents’ Day lies in the 1880s, when there was the birthday of George Washington who was the commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and later went on to become the first president of the United States; but there is more to this one story.
The first story begins on February 22, 1732, when George Washington, a political leader, statesman, the military general was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He served as commander-in-chief and general of the colonial armies during the major period of the American revolution. The tactical standoff helped Washington’s army in winning their war of independence against the British army.
The freedom from the British rule set up a new chapter in American history, as it paved the path for George Washington to be the first President of America. His birthday which is on February 22, is often known as Washington’s Day.
The second story begins on 12th February 1809, when Abraham Lincoln, an American statesman, and a lawyer was born in Kentucky, United States. He became famous for his stand against slavery. Abraham Lincoln was elected as the president of the United States on March 4, 1861, as the 16th president of the United States. Abraham Lincoln supported equal rights for the black Americans, which was denied by his opponents. His election was one of the reasons for the outbreak of the American civil war, which had an aftermath effect where Lincoln was called on to handle both military and political aspects of civil war. After his assassination on April 15, 1865; he was portrayed as the liberator of slaves. The crux of his position was his opposition to the spread of slavery.
One of his famous quotes which are also a great lesson for the current generation is:
Nearly all men can stand adversity,
But, if you want to test a man’s character give him power.
It has been observed that different US states celebrate President’s Day with different names such as Alabama celebrate it by the name of George Washington Day, Arizona by both Lincoln and Washington’s Day, Arkansas by George Washington’s Day, etc.
As both of them shared their birthdays in the same month and within a gap of few days, it was decided in 1968 that the President’s Day needs to align more federal holidays with Mondays by creating three day weekends. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act which got implemented in 1971 has been a delight for the middle-class American families. It extends their holiday plan for long weekends and road trips. Families who live far away can spend time together and travel to other US states for sight-seeing and adventurous journey. The Columbus Day was also established as the US Federal Holiday henceforth honoring the national characteristics, ability to work and live together, people of all national origins as one and progressive nation.
President’s Day officially is known as honoring the work and life of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Schools organize events, other lessons for students about the famous presidents of the United States.
It even marks the day of civic celebrations and marketers promote this day to push the sales in all the major US states.
There has been an evolution of the President’s Day messaging by the marketers, take a look at this Disneyland messaging image:
Disneyland captured the emotions of the Americans by connecting patriotism with enjoyment.
There has been another message promoting mattress sale on the President’s Day:
The advertisement is portraying President’s Day Sale, and you can see the king being presented as President. Although Presidents don’t wear crowns but here it is shown to portray dominance and the quest for power.
If you are fascinated by history, some of the top-to-do things in the list during President’s Day are:
1) Check out for some of the best car deals. It has been observed that during this weekend, you can find some of the best car deals.
2) One can read the Farewell Address by George Washington, and his contributions to the United States of America.
3) You can visit Mt.Vernon, VA, Washington’s ancestral home.
4) Explore the presidency exhibit at the American museum.
5) Visit the national portrait gallery
6) Go out to some of the prominent Presidential related sites in and around the area of Washington, D.C
President’s Day is an important day to remember the great deeds of the eminent personalities who served as Presidents of the United States of America. Without their resistance, it would have been difficult for America to win the revolutionary war and abolish the slavery system, which was almost a plague for the civil society of America.
It’s our responsibility to pay tribute to these great men by making youth aware of their duties towards the nation and keep working hard to make America the most developed country in the world.