SuperTalk Mississippi

President’s Day; to honor all of America’s great leaders

Nowadays President’s Day is a day devoted to celebrating and honoring all of the presidents of the United States of America, but that isn’t quite how it began. 

Originally, President’s Day was celebrated on February 22nd, and it wasn’t a day to remember all the presidents, it was a day to remember one of them. The very first president, George Washington.

The man known as “The Father of our Country,” Washington’s birthday was Feb. 22nd. According to History Channel, following his death in 1799 his birthday became a day of remembrance. While that day was revered as an “unofficial” holiday for most of the 1800’s in the 1870’s it became an official federal holiday.

Nearly a century later in the 1960’s Congress passed a measure for Uniform Monday Holiday Act which would shift several federal holidays to Monday celebrations. The Act included a provision to combine Washington’s birthday, and President Abe Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 12, into one federal holiday and call it President’s Day.

For many Americans through the 80’s and 90’s the day because more of a reminder of honoring all of the nations former presidents with ceremonies, events, and reenactments.

While Mississippi has never had a citizen born and raised become the president, Jefferson Davis spent four years as the president of the Confederate States of America, to which Mississippi was part of and often refers to Mississippi has his real home. Davis was born in Kentucky but represented Mississippi in Washington in the Mexican War for a period of fifteen years.

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