By getting caught up in weekend-long Presidents' Day sales and anticipated days off from school and work, understanding and acknowledging what Presidents' Day celebrates can be tricky.
So what exactly are we celebrating?
Presidents’ Day is a holiday to remember and honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, two presidents who have shaped and changed our nation.
Why do we honor Washington and Lincoln?
Washington, also known as “the father of our country,” played a huge role in the Declaration of Independence, while Lincoln made history by signing the Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves.
How did it become a holiday?
In 1968, Congress combined the former holidays of Washington’s Birthday (February 22nd) and Lincoln’s birthday (February 12th) into “Presidents’ Day” in honor of both presidents.
How is electing a President different now?
In 1788, only 16 percent of citizens had the right to vote. Today, only those under 18 and people who are not citizens are ineligible to vote.
What Can You Do?
Organize a field trip to one of the awesome Civil Rights exhibits or museums in your area to honor the presidents who gave us the freedom of equality!
You can also visit an online exhibition here.
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