SmokeSignals Logo Large


Presidents Day? No way!

It’s mine, Abe. All mine. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


By Rita Van Fleet

Writing can be confusing. When writing for the social sciences or education, the standard reference is the Publication Manual for the American Psychological Association. The standard for writing fiction is specific to the publishing house, usually in some combination with The Chicago Manual of Style. The standard for journalism is the Associated Press Stylebook. Making the matter even more confusing is that they usually change annually.

For example, Presidents Day has three possible punctuations—President’s Day, Presidents’ Day, and Presidents Day. The Chicago Manual of Style uses the possessive plural—Presidents’ Day. The AP Stylebook uses the plural with no possessive—Presidents Day.

The holiday, though colloquially called Presidents’ Day, is officially known as Washington’s Birthday. The holiday was legally enacted by Congress in 1879 as Washington’s Birthday and has never officially changed. The holiday was celebrated on February 22, Washington’s birthday, though George was one of those unfortunates whose date of birth changed by eleven days when the British Empire abandoned the Julian calendar and adopted the more accurate Gregorian calendar in 1752.

In the early 1970s, the holiday date was changed by law to the Monday between February 15 and 21, as a part of the Uniform Holiday Monday Act, a change designed to give federal workers long weekends throughout the year. The move to honor others, such as Lincoln, failed at the federal level. So, Washington’s Birthday it is—or maybe not.

The states have enacted various laws applying to the holiday. Most of the states celebrate the federal holiday as President’s or Presidents’ Day. Virginia, Illinois, Iowa and New York celebrate Washington’s Birthday. Montana, Colorado, Ohio, Utah, and Minnesota honor Washington and Lincoln. Alabama celebrates Washington’s and Jefferson’s Birthdays and Arkansas celebrates Washington’s Birthday and honors Daisy Gatson Bates who was a prominent civil rights leader.

Several states honor presidents with official state holidays that do not fall on the traditional day. Massachusetts celebrates Washington’s Birthday, then holds a Presidents Day celebration on May 29. New Mexico observes Presidents’ Day on the Friday after Thanksgiving. With some annual adjustments, Indiana observes Washington’s Birthday and Georgia observes Presidents’ Day on Christmas Eve. (See the full list of holidays designated by Governor Nathan Deal here) Whatever the holiday is called or when it is celebrated, the federal holiday provides merchants with a prime opportunity for sales.

Newest Stories - News

Flu update

Flu continues to plague Georgia In its latest update the Georgia Department of Public Health (March...

North Georgia Calendar – March 13

Events for the week of March 13 St. Paddy’s Ladies concert–Saturday, March 17, 2 p.m. at...


Two events scheduled at Eagles Rest Eagles Rest Park on Mt. Oglethorpe will host two events...

Big Canoe Calendar for week of March 13

Events for the week of March 13 Atlanta Mandolin Concert–Sunday, March 18, 4 p.m. Big Canoe...

Job Fairs

Job Fair at Goodwill Career Center in Dawsonville HomeGoods is hiring for the new store at...

Downings named honorary chairs

Downings named honorary chairs of the Legacy Gala Sandy and Jeff Downing have been named honorary...

Big Canoe Calendar for week of March 6th

Big Canoe Calendar for week of March 6th Atlanta Mandolin Concert–Sunday, March 18, 4 p.m. Big...

Movie Shoot in Big Canoe

Sunshine, Camera, Action . . . The Swim Club, Lake Disharoon Beach, and Lake Trail were...

Water testing

Citizens group concerned about landfill polluting Etowah River Stop Trashing Forsyth and the Etowah, LLC is...

SSW News March 6

Utilities Inc. of Georgia meets with property owners The future of water rates in Big Canoe...

North Georgia Happenings – March 6

The Titan Winds Concert–Sunday, March 18, 3:30 p.m. Free. Community invited. Episcopal Church of the...

BCAR Dog - Grayson

Meet BCAR Dog Grayson The American Kennel Club describes the Australian Cattle Dog as always alert...

Dog Owners Life Expectancy Longer

Want to live longer? Buy a dog! Dog owners have a lower rate of heart disease...


Bill places amendment on November ballot to protect special purpose funds HR158 will allow Georgia citizens...

Job Fairs

Job Fairs scheduled throughout March in Dawsonville The Goodwill Career Center in Dawsonville will host a...



SmokeSignals Online
11293 Big Canoe
Big Canoe, GA 30143
PH: 770-893-1594

©2018 Big Canoe News