President’s Day: Is It Just Another Day Off?

Dated+to+1890%2C+this+poster+of+George+Washington+announces+that+%22No+Business+Transactions%22+will+be+conducted+on+his+birthday.%0A%0ALabeled+for+reuse+by+the+Library+of+Congress.
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President’s Day: Is It Just Another Day Off?

Dated to 1890, this poster of George Washington announces that

Dated to 1890, this poster of George Washington announces that "No Business Transactions" will be conducted on his birthday. Labeled for reuse by the Library of Congress.

Dated to 1890, this poster of George Washington announces that "No Business Transactions" will be conducted on his birthday. Labeled for reuse by the Library of Congress.

Dated to 1890, this poster of George Washington announces that "No Business Transactions" will be conducted on his birthday. Labeled for reuse by the Library of Congress.

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Many Kadets are excited about having Feb. 18 off of school, but besides that, what’s so great about President’s Day?

President’s Day became an official American holiday in 1885. It is meant to celebrate first president George Washington’s Feb. 22 birthday, but in 1971, History.com says that the holiday was moved from the 22nd to the first Monday of February.

Since then, President’s Day has never been on Washington’s true birth date.

In fact, it’s closer to Abraham Lincoln’s birthday than Washington’s, which is why the holiday has been nicknamed “President’s Day,” rather than its true name, “George Washington’s Birthday,” according to Forbes.

While the change itself was due to convenience (it’s easier to have a holiday on a Monday), the contrast between attitudes concerning national holidays such as President’s Day in 1890 and 2019 are stark.

Additionally, in 1890, the holiday was declared a “no business” day, according to a photo from the Library of Congress, but the advertising of sales on holidays such as President’s Day, Labor Day and even Martin Luther King, Jr. Day are ever-present.

While businesses certainly enjoy the opportunity for advertisement, students have conflicting opinions about the holiday’s worth.

Senior Leyre Goenaga, a foreign exchange student from Spain, says, “[Although] I’m not from [America] and I don’t know [much] about President’s Day….I find [businesses using holidays for sales] disrespectful for the people that find that day important and worth celebrating.”

On the other hand, many students see the weekend, which will be four days long due to the professional learning day on Friday, Feb. 15, and President’s Day on Monday, the 18th, as an opportunity to relax.

“[It’s] just an opportunity to ‘skip’ school,” says junior Beza Tefera. “I’ll be sleeping, probably.”

Freshman Dauntae Killian says, “I’ll probably just be playing Xbox.”

In fact, many students are unaware of the long history behind President’s Day.

“I [didn’t] even know why we really celebrate President’s Day,” Tefera notes.

Killian adds, “I don’t know what it’s celebrating. All I know is that I don’t have to go to school.”

However, despite modern America’s cultural, educational and social shifts away from earlier decades, the events which America’s most recognizable figures are famous for will still remain present in US history.

“I respect America, [even if] I don’t know a lot about it,” says Goenaga, “but if I were American, I would be pleased to celebrate my own history.”

Here’s a way to spice up your President’s Day through food.

 

Delicious fried chicken, labeled for reuse by Brian Chan on Unsplash.

Here are 5 patriotic food options to celebrate this historic holiday!

  1. Cherry Pie. George Washington is famous for chopping down a cherry tree.
  2. PB&J Sandwich. 39th president Jimmy Carter grew up on a peanut farm.
  3. Fried Chicken. (Because everyone loves fried chicken.)
  4. Cheeseburgers. Whether they’re tofu or real beef, cheeseburgers have always been a delicious staple of the American diet.
  5.  Steak. Rare, medium-rare, or well-done, steak, corn, and salad make an awesome meal.
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