Saturday, February 18, 2012

Have a happy and safe Presidents' Day Weekend – events and a short history of this long weekend holiday

What are you doing this weekend?  Do you celebrate this federal holiday by reflecting upon legacies of past presidents, simply relaxing over a long weekend, taking in annual community events, taking advantage of sales or none of the above? 

Presidents' Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February.  Sadly, by some, it is better known commercially as the Presidents' Day Sale where we celebrate and save with great deals! Providing for an extra 15 - 20% off plus free shipping (online)!

There are traditional large community events held during this three day event.  I have posted my personal big three below:

The Coconut Grove Arts Festival now in its 49th year which runs Sat 2/18 through Monday 2/20.  Cost: $10 a day, free for kids 12 and younger

St. Stephen’s Art Show, Coconut Grove, Florida, which runs same dates as above, Sat 2/18 through Monday 2/20.  Cost $2 admission to adults and children under 12 are admitted free of charge.

The Miami International Boat Show,, Feb 16 – 20th.  Cost: $18 for adults 16 and older, $32 for a two-day pass, free for kids 15 and younger

More information is available online by the Miami Herald, by Hanna Sampson - PRESIDENT’S DAY WEEKEND | EVENTS - Weekend lineup opens busy tourist season

As the article forewarns;  Residents, prepare for gridlock. Hotels and restaurants, get ready for your busiest time of year.

A short History of Presidents’ Day

Presidents’ Day was first celebrated in the 1880s, with the birthday of George Washington was first celebrated as a federal holiday.

Controversy: long weekends versus recognizing the actual date:

In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill in 1968.  This moved federal holidays to Mondays. The intent was to provide for long weekends.  There was opposition to this move, by those who believe that those holidays should be celebrated on the dates they actually commemorate.

And then there was one national day for all presidents:

How many of us remember celebrating both Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays as separate events?  Presidents' Day became the officially celebrated holiday in 1971, to honor the birthdays of both Washington (February 22) and Abraham Lincoln (February12).  Note that Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was celebrated in many states, but was never an official national holiday (I wonder which states celebrated?  Extra points awarded for those who can answer)


  1. So tell us Gene, what are you and Alex doing this weekend? I bet you are not taking Monday off.

  2. Did the Northern states celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday as a holiday, but not the traditional Southern states? e.g. the states that celebrate confederate memorial day. Confederate Memorial Day is a state holiday in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi on the fourth Monday in April. It is a state holiday in South Carolina and North Carolina on May 10.

    If Confederate Memorial Day falls on Sunday in North Carolina, the following Monday is a public holiday.

  3. Ha ha. Is this a hint that we need Mayors' Day in South Dade????

  4. Happy Presidents' Day weekend Gene. Now get off the blog and let's meet up at the Art Show!