Francesca "Frankie" Bill
2021-2022 National Americanism Ambassador & Patriotic Instructor
Presidents Day | February 2022
Presidents Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February in all its patriotic glory. This year, the holiday lands on Monday, February 21. It is notably recognized for the first President of the United States, George Washington, whose birthday falls on February 22. However, another recognizable U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, also has a February birthday which occurs on February 12. Nonetheless, all the presidents in American history are remembered and honored for their exemplary work in making America the great country it is today.
PRESIDENTS DAY TIMELINE
- 1800s: George Washington’s Birthday
- After George Washington’s death in 1799, his birthday is celebrated nationwide.
- 1879: Official Holiday
- President Rutherford B. Hayes signs Washington’s Birthday into law.
- 1968: Uniform Monday Holiday Bill
- Congress passes the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill and shifts four (4) bank holidays to Monday including Washington’s Birthday.
- 1980s-present: Presidents Day is Official
- Presidents’ Day becomes the common term, honoring all presidents.
Presidents Day is celebrated in different ways across the United States. For example, in the hometown of our first President, George Washington, there will be a month-long tribute to him in Alexandria, Virginia. History museums will have exhibits that commemorate U.S. presidents and schools will often take time before the holiday to teach students about Presidents Day. These are great examples of patriotism within the Americanism Program by demonstrating Patriotic Unity, Community Connection, and the Red, White, and Blue across the country.
Presidents Day was originally known as a federal holiday called Washington’s Birthday. Congress has not yet declared a national holiday which would bind all states to participate. Each state has the freedom to determine its own legal holidays. Upon entering the office of the President, George Washington was not convinced he was the right person for the job. He wrote, “My movements to the chair of government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution.” To the delight of a young country, he was wrong and became a well-recognized and honorable President of the United States.
Here are some fun facts about our U.S. Presidents:
- Did you hear the story of George Washington’s wooden choppers? Throughout his life, the first president was fitted with various false teeth made from items such as; ivory, gold, and human teeth. This was a myth.
- James Tyler, the 10th President, had 15 children. This has been the most of any one president.
- The 15th President, James Buchanan, was the first bachelor to be elected president while Ronald Reagan, the 40th President, was the first to have been divorced.
- James Madison, the 4th President, stood at 5’4” as the shortest president to date.
- The 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, was the tallest at 6’4”.
- William Taft, the 27th President, was once stuck in the White House bathtub during his first-time use. A larger one was ordered to better fit his 332-pound frame.
- Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President, banned all alcohol from the White House. During official functions, the first lady, Mrs. Hayes, was known as “Lemonade Lucy.
- There have been only eight (8) left-handed U.S. Presidents. They include: James Garfield (20th President), Herbert Hoover (31st President), Harry Truman (33rd President), Gerald Ford (38th President), Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush (41st President), Bill Clinton (42nd President), and Barack Obama (44th President).
- Barack Obama, the first African-American President, collected comic books. His two (2) favorites are Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian.
Be sure to honor this upcoming, patriotic holiday by displaying the U.S. Flag and engaging both the youth and/or community to participate in a Flag-raising celebration with your Auxiliary. Remember this day can be the perfect way to show support of patriotism, veterans and their families as a top priority.
“Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. President