Today is President’s Day, but what exactly does that really mean anyways? Well, the holiday was originally a celebration of just one president actually, our first president: George Washington. The original “Presidents’ Day” began in the 1880s and was celebrated on the 22nd of February, which of course is Washington’s birthday. It wasn’t until several decades later in 1951 that the more generic form of Presidents’ Day was officially created by a committee. This new holiday designated to celebrate the general office of the presidency was then moved in 1971 to the third Monday in February, in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which placed all government holidays firmly in observance on a particular Monday rather than a specific date. Some states also celebrate the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, which is February 12th, or of Thomas Jefferson (who was born in April) on Presidents’ Day or during “Presidents’ Week.”
In recent years, Presidents’ Day has become a day for massive sales at department stores and car dealerships, moving away from the standard tradition of closing businesses on federal holidays. Tattoo and piercing parlors are generally open on this day too, making it the perfect time to get new body art, particularly that of the patriotic variety.