May 24, 2019

Presidents Day? President's Day? Presidents' Day?

“Is it Presidents Day, President’s Day, or Presidents’ Day? This might just be the greatest question of our time.

And unfortunately, nobody has the slightest clue. If they claim to know the right answer, they’re lying.

Presidents Day has been an extremely confusing holiday ever since George Washington died in 1799 and people decided we ought to figure out a way to celebrate the guy. Complicating matters was that when George Washington was born in 1731 (or 1732 — like I said, it’s confusing), North America still used the Julian calendar, which was 11 days behind the Gregorian calendar. During Washington’s lifetime, North America switched to using the Gregorian calendar, which technically changed Washington’s birthday from Feb. 11 to Feb. 22. For years after the cherry tree murderer’s death,”Washington’s Birthday” was celebrated on his new birthday, Feb. 22.

A few centuries later, in 1968, Congress decided it’d be better if Americans had more three-day weekends (agree), and they issued the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which officially moved George Washington’s birthday to “the third Monday in February.” Which was all fine and good, except that it prevented Washington’s birthday from ever being celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday (by being the third Monday of the month, the holiday can only ever fall between Feb. 15 and Feb. 21).”

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