The staff of Sip & Savor may have the day off from work today, but we still thought it was important to acknowledge Presidents Day. It's not just about furniture sales and trips to the outlet mall; in fact, it’s not about that at all.
In doing some research on the topic, it appears that there seems to be much confusion as to the origins of this national observance. Admittedly, we are not the expert on this topic. However, here's what we came up with…
This federal holiday officially began as Washington's Birthday – in observance of the February 22 birthday of our first president, George Washington. Our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, also was born in February, on the 12th to be exact, which led to yet another legal holiday observed in some states.
With the birthdays of two of our country's great presidents observed within days of each other, it became common practice in some states to celebrate them together - that is what we know as Presidents Day. Interestingly, a federal law that specifies holidays for federal employees (5 U.S.C. 6103) established the third Monday in February as Washington’s Birthday; however, other institutions, such as state and local governments and private businesses, may refer to the holiday as Presidents Day - or even President's Day. And in some states, the observance is in honor of all of our nation's great presidential leaders.
Whatever you may observe, we hope that you take some time to reflect on the great accomplishments of our first and sixteenth presidents - as well as the other 42. To learn more about the 44 United States presidents, you can check out the White House Web site.