Happy 281st Birthday, George Washington: 5 Presidents Day facts to know

Though USF students dont have the day off,Presidents Day is a day often far-removed for many on campus. But the daycarries a substantial amount ofhistory with it.

1.Originally celebrated inrecognition of WashingtonsBirthday

The holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February, commonly known as Presidents Day is not officially Presidents Day. The official name of this day is Washingtons Birthday and in 1968 there was a move to legally change the name of the holiday, but it died in committee.

2.Washingtons farewelladdress readings

Almost every year, on Feb. 22 since 1888 PresidentWashingtons FarewellAddress has been read in the United States Senate incelebration of GeorgeWashingtons actual date of birth, which was on Feb. 22, 1732.The address touches on topics ofgeographic sectionalism andforeign interference of domestic affairs. The tradition of reading the presidents farewell address began in 1862 as a way to boost morale of Civil War soldiers.

2.He may not have chopped down the cherry tree, but we can eat the fruit in a pie.

Turkey on Thanksgiving, ham on Christmas and burgers on the Forth of July. Like most holidays,Washingtons birthday orPresidents Day has its own food to celebrate with. Desserts made with cherries, bread withcherries, cherries on their own or even Cherry Coke could be consumed tocelebrate the first president. The cherry theme aligns with the questionable tale that Washington would not lie when asked if he cut down a cherry tree.

3. What about Lincoln?

Honest Abe, otherwise known as the 16th President of theU.S., Abraham Lincoln, is alsoinformally grouped in onPresidents Day. Lincolnsbirthday was 10 days and some 77 years following the birth of Washington. Over a dozen state governmentsofficially renamed Washingtons Birthday Presidents Day inobservance of Lincolns birth.

4.Presidents Day saleseverywhere

Until the late 1980s, banks and corporate businessremained closed onPresidents Day. Once the major advertising corporations pushed to rename the holiday, stores and businesses began staying openlater and later, eventually using theholiday to push out aginginventory and make room for new spring collections.

5.More three-day weekends for all

In 1971, the holiday was moved to be held strictly on the third Monday of eachFebruary as opposed toWashingtons actual birthday. This came to be part of the UniformMonday Holiday Act as anattempt to create more three-day weekends for U.S. workers.