Erin-Elizabeth Purcell – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Monday, Feb. 21 is Presidents’ Day and LRHS history teachers across LRHS recognize the opportunity to celebrate the often-forgotten holiday.
Presidents’ Day originally celebrated famous leaders of the United States, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, but the holiday has evolved to celebrate all the country’s past leaders, including the forgotten ones.
According to the National Archives, “George Washington’s Birthday was the first Federal holiday to honor an individual’s birth date. In 1885, Congress designated February 22 as a holiday for all Federal workers. Nearly a century later, in 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Law changed the date to the third Monday in February. The position of the holiday between the birthdays of Washington and Abraham Lincoln gave rise to the popular name of Presidents Day.”
“I think it’s important that we remember even the ‘bad’ ones (presidents) because it proves anyone can be corrupt or make mistakes and we cannot just blindly follow someone because they are a leader,” said social studies teacher Patricia Haussler.
Social studies teacher Brain Ross had another opinion.
Ross said, “I think that during Presidents’ Day we should celebrate the office rather than the man or woman themselves. Presidents’ Day celebrates the fact that we have the right to elect leaders rather than the specific people we have elected.”
Overall, Presidents’ Day is a day to celebrate the elected leaders of the United States and the freedom they represent through our participation in democracy.