I emailed this to my sister, and then remembered it's been several years since I posted anything like this on my blog, so maybe it's overdue.
It's not President's Day! It's Washington's Birthday!!!!! President's Day is a sale, Washington's Birthday is a holiday. Congress named it Washington's Birthday and NEVER re-named it. We stopped celebrating Lincoln's Birthday when we picked up MLK's (which in itself is kind of funny) but it was never re-named.
It's important because we don't honor the other 43, just the first. If we honored the other 43 it would include the worst president of all times (Harding) as well as the second worst (Grant) and I could go on. It would be nice to celebrate the best (Roosevelt the first) followed by Reagan and that Lincoln guy, and I could go on from this side too. We don't celebrate Harrison (though we did name a county after his short presidency) and we don't celebrate Fillmore. We can laugh about Taft (laughy Taft-y?) and question Van Buren's heterosexuality, but we don't celebrate them.
In the typical fashion of celebrating idiocy, it is important to note that Congress designated not only the name of Washington's Birthday but the third Monday of February. Since George's Birthday is actually on the 22nd, that means that the Federal Holiday Washington's Birthday can never be celebrated on George's actual birthday.
Not to be outdone in stupidity, fellow residents of Alabama can celebrate the State Holiday rather than the Federal Holiday. It still isn't named after a sale, but the State of Alabama celebrates George Washington and Thomas Jefferson's Birthdays on the third Monday of February. Only reason I can figure that out is that TJ's bday (13 Apr) is too close to Confederate Memorial Day, in itself an ironic celebration since Memorial Day itself began to commemorate the dead from the War of Northern Aggression.
So, enjoy your day off if you have one. Buy yourself something at any one of the myriad President's Day Sales, but celebrate Washington's Birthday.