On Monday, Americans celebrate Presidents’ Day, a federal holiday in honor of all US presidents.
The holiday is celebrated on the third Monday of February, the month in which two of the country’s most prominent leaders were born: its first president, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln, who ruled the country during the civil war.
Some Americans, including federal and bank employees, have a day off, but for many it is a work day.
Since Presidents Day falls in the middle of winter, traditional summer barbecues and picnics are not relevant at this time. Many companies offer discounts on cars and consumer goods on the occasion of the holiday.
This year, Boston-based RR Auction hosted an auction of memorabilia for American presidents.
Nearly 300 artifacts are on display at an online auction, including a John F. Kennedy raspberry Harvard sweater, a lock of Washington’s hair, and an autographed photograph of Lincoln.
The auction also features documents from many presidents, including John Quincy Adams, James Madison and Ulysses S. Grant.
The origins of the holiday
Presidents Day kicked off with Washington’s annual birthday celebration on February 22.
Congress officially declared the day a federal holiday in 1968, moving the celebration to the third Monday in February to create a three-day weekend.
At the time, some argued that the holiday should also include the celebration of Lincoln’s birthday, which falls on February 12, and suggested renaming it President’s Day.
Lawmakers rejected this idea, and the holiday is still officially called Washington’s birthday. Today, however, it is widely known as Presidents’ Day and is viewed by the majority of the population as a holiday in honor of all US presidents.
When Joe Biden was inaugurated on January 20; he became the 46th president of the country.
At the same time, Biden is the 15th president, who previously served as vice president. Of these, eight took over as president following the death of the president, and one, Gerald Ford, took office following the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Biden, who served in the administration during Barack Obama’s presidency, is the second vice president to win the presidential election after a one-term break. This was previously done by Nixon, who served as vice president under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1961, but became president only in 1968.
Biden, who also served 36 years in the Senate, became the 26th president to serve in Congress. Seventeen former senators, including Biden, became presidents, but only three senators moved directly from the Senate to the White House: Warren J. Harding, Kennedy and Obama.
Biden is the second Catholic president after Kennedy. All other presidents were Protestants. None of the presidents were Jewish or Muslim, and while none of them publicly identified themselves as atheists, some considered Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln, and William Howard Taft to be agnostics or atheists.
Biden also became the oldest president, at 78 when he took office. This record was previously held by his predecessor, Donald Trump, who became president in 2017 at the age of 70.
The youngest American leader, Theodore Roosevelt, became president at 42; when John F. Kennedy came to the White House, he was 43.