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The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

The history of Presidents Day

Joanna Wu
President’s Day is a chance for all Americans nationwide to celebrate the achievements of two amazing presidents.

It is a beautiful blue day, and rows and rows of uniformed personnel salute the American flag as it is raised up a flagpole. It is Presidents Day, and these soldiers are honoring the legacy of two incredible presidents of the United States: President George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln. 

The National Archives states that President’s Day combines and celebrates the birthdays of President Washington (Feb. 22, 1732) and President Lincoln (Feb. 12, 1809), and Britannica states that its origins date back to the 1800s. Many Americans across the working U.S. get this national holiday off to remember the important deeds both President Lincoln and Washington have done to make America a better place today. 

“My favorite historical president is George Washington because he was our first president,” says freshman Danielle Palmer. 

Presidents Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February and was first passed into law as a national holiday in 1879 on Feb. 22, according to The National Archives. It was passed in honor of Washington’s achievements. Washington’s birthday is also the first national holiday that celebrates someone’s birthday. According to the U.S. Embassy, in 1775, Washington was unanimously selected to be the general in the Independence War, and after the war, the United State’s first president. 

Maya Salgado, a sophomore at RCHS said, “My favorite U.S. president is Abraham Lincoln, ‘cuz he ended slavery.”

President Abraham Lincoln, the U.S.’s 16th president, is the second president the holiday honors. He was inaugurated in 1861 and signed the Emancipation Proclamation to free all enslaved black Americans in 1863. He also made it into the Wrestling Hall of Fame, according to The Olympics. According to Britannica, In 1968, the holiday was moved to the third Monday in February to adapt for Lincoln’s birthday.

Who President’s Day celebrates was the subject of much debate. The Voice of America states that when the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill was being passed in 1969, many people wanted to change the name of Washington’s birthday to President’s Day. The motion was not passed, but the holiday became commonly known as President’s Day from that day on.  All things considered, Presidents Day is an important holiday that celebrates two great presidents. 


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About the Contributor
Joanna Wu
Joanna Wu, Staff Reporter

This is Joanna Wu’s first year trying journalism, and she is a freshman at RCHS. She is a staff reporter at the school newspaper, The Cat’s Eye. Her favorite school subject is history, because when she’s not recording the present, Jay likes to study the past. Outside of working on the latest school news, she wishes she could be a talking painting in Harry Potter and a backup dancer for Sia. 

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