What’s the real meaning behind President’s Day?
Yes, it’s a long weekend off from work and school. It’s also a great time to get some crazy shopping deals, but there are two curious facts about President’s Day and why we celebrate it!
1. There’s no universal name for the holiday
Most refer to is as President’s Day, but it’s formal and federal name is actually Washington’s Birthday, named after our first president George Washington. It’s original intent was to celebrate more than just his birth, but to honor the man who commanded the Continental Army and led the American colonies during the Revolutionary War.
Eventually some states started celebrating President’s Day to honor our other great President’s such as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, which brings us to our next fact-
2. There’s no universal agreement for which Presidents are being honored
There have been efforts to create a day between Lincoln and Washington’s birthday in some states, and in the 1950’s there was a proposal to make the original inauguration day (March 4th) a day to celebrate all of our President’s. There were other efforts of combining or creating separate holidays varying state to state, but none of these became official.
Today we are still unsure of the true meaning behind this holiday, but nonetheless a great day to honor our founding fathers. To celebrate, here are some interesting facts about a few of our Presidents!
Due to popular belief, he did NOT wear a wig, Yes, that’s right, that curly well maintained up-do was all natural. He grew his hair out long past his shoulders and went through quite a process including braiding, fluffing, and greasing so it was at perfection everyday. The only surreal part of his hair was the color. His natural hair was a reddish brown, so to achieve that snowy-white color he would sprinkle a fine powder over it. To see a step-by-step guide on how our first president did his hair everyday, check out this article here!
He was an extremely talented violinist. He would practice at least 3 hours daily and named music his favorite passion. For holidays or celebrations, he would often play with his wife, Martha, for their family and guests. He strongly encouraged his daughters to play, and advocated that music be a part of one’s life whether it be for enjoyment or education.
Lincoln was a tremendously skilled wrestler. Historians can only find record of one defeat in his 12 years of wrestling. Many say that his reputation as a strong and talented wrestler helped contribute to his success in politics.
It may have been well known that TR was interested in boxing, but an injury he received from it was a complete secret during his time as president. His final bout happened in 1908, his opponent landed a punch directly to Roosevelt’s left eye. He suffered through severe hemorrhaging and a detached retina, which eventually led to blindness in that eye when he was only 50 years old. His doctors strongly urged he stop boxing after the incident, but Roosevelt still thought very highly of the sport and even took up jujitsu for a few years afterwards.
John F. Kennedy JFK donated his entire presidential salary to charity. He was the richest man to ever take office when he was elected in 1961, as he was born into a fairly wealthy family. It’s also understood that Kennedy donated the entirety of his salary earned during his 14 years in the House and Senate. The donations given are around $500,000 (give or take)
Reagan became an FBI informant in 1947 during the Hollywood Red Scare. He provided them with names of actors that were suspected of being Communist party members. He was active in film industry politics and was chairman of the Screen Actors Guild before becoming President of the United States.