Significance of Presidents’ Day


Ludia Kim

Monday, February 17, is a day we honor the presidents of our United States. For most, Presidents’ Day is a day off from school or work. We must recognize the reason why it is celebrated. 

According to Reader’s Digest, we began celebrating this day after the death of George Washington. However, after the assassination of Lincoln, the holiday was shared between the two presidents by combining their birthdays, making the third Monday of February Presidents’ Day.

The Father of the Nation, George Washington, was the Commander in Chief of the American Revolution and was chosen two years later as the first leader of America. He was so respected by his peers that he was called “Excellency” and “Mr. President”. Thoughtco claims that his supporters admired him so much they named the Capital after him, Washington DC.

Washington was the only unanimously elected president the US has ever had. He was also a slave owner; however, he gave his slaves freedom in his will. Some common myths of Washington include the story of him cutting down his father’s cherry tree and him having wooden teeth, but these were never verified stories. 

Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, is known as the most influential leader of America. He guided our country through the Civil War and the push to abolish slavery, focusing on passing the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to ensure the equality of newly emancipated slaves. This changed America forever by making it a more accepting country.

According to Abraham Lincoln Historical Society, before becoming involved in politics, Lincoln was a self-taught lawyer. In 1846, Lincoln was elected to Congress to strengthen his attorneyship and deal with Supreme Court Cases. He did this by writing resolutions such as the Spots Resolution.

A fact about President Lincoln is that on the day he was assassinated, he told his bodyguard that he dreamed of getting shot. 

Our nation’s past presidents give us a reason to celebrate as they built our country to where it is today.