What is now call Presidents Day was originally established in 1885 to recognize President GeorgeWashington and is officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. It was originally celebrated February 22, Washington’s actual day of birth. After his death he was venerated as the most important figure in American history. The holiday initially only applied to the District of Columbia, but in 1885 it was expanded to the whole country. It later became known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers.
Today, the February holiday has become well known for being a day in which many stores, especially car dealers, hold sales. Until the late 1980s, corporate businesses generally closed on this day. With the late 1980s advertising push to rename the holiday, more and more businesses are staying open on the holiday each year. Most notably, however, banks close for the say and the mail service is supended.
While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.