This American holiday often slips under the radar. Most of us simply consider President’s Day a free Monday off of work and don’t really think into the true significance of it. Although it is a day off for most (which means more time for grilling!), it’s also important to understand why it’s a federal holiday.
Here at MAK, we’re veteran owned and operated. Our grills are also manufactured in the USA, therefore we strongly value any and all patriotic holidays. President’s Day may not be the most widely celebrated holiday, but we personally want to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our founding fathers who helped create the nation we live and grill in today.
This American holiday was first established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington’s Birthday. Good ol’ George was born on February 22, 1732, and is still considered one of the most influential historical figures to this day. The holiday was first proposed by Arkansas Senator Steven Wallace Dorsey and later signed into law by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1879.
In the late 1960s, Illinois Senator Robert McClory proposed an act that would shift the dates of certain holidays so that they’d always land on a Monday. The whole purpose of this act was to create more three day weekends, instead of random holidays falling in the middle of the week. Thank you, McClory! A few sticks in the mud argued that changing the dates of these holidays would take away from their meaning. In the end, the act was passed and a handful of three day weekends were born.
When President’s Day was first established, it was simply called Washington’s Birthday. At the time, he was the only historical figure with enough significance to be considered worthy of his own holiday. A few years later, however, Lincoln came in hot with political influence and also happened to have a February birthday. After the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed, President Richard Nixon combined the celebration of the two historical figures’ birthdays.
Similar to Veterans Day, Independence Day and Memorial Day, President’s Day is a patriotic holiday dedicated to remembrance. This holiday has been used to reinstate the Purple Heart; a military decoration that was originally created by Washington to honor American soldiers who had been killed or wounded in battle. Although President’s Day was originally created to commemorate Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays, today it recognizes all presidents who have made a positive contribution to our country.
Most commonly, people use the day to spend time with friends and family. There are often special President’s Day events at local historical sites and museums. There are also a variety of events in Washington D.C.
We know that our most passionate pellet heads will be using the day as an opportunity to get some grilling in. We also know that a good majority of schools are closed on this holiday, so you’re probably on kid duty. If that’s the case, we’ve included a fun coloring page to get them in the President’s Day spirit and hopefully keep them busy while you grill up some delicious smoked meats.
Printable PDF: MAK_PRES_DAY
As always don’t forget to submit your recipes to us for a chance to win.