When Is President Day in 2023, and Why Do We Celebrate It?
Many people view Presidents Day as the last long weekend of summer, marking the transition from the lazy days of summer to the frenzied pace of the new school year. For some families, this will be the last weekend to go swimming before the pool closes for the season, while for others it will be the last weekend before the start of the new school year. The best part is getting together with loved ones to share some grilled delicacies and good conversation. (And don’t forget to take images to commemorate the end of summer on social media.) While there are many varieties of Presidents Day observed around the world, the American version has its own special significance and history as we celebrate it for the 140th time this year.
Presidents Day was established in the late 19th century to celebrate the achievements of workers and the people who advocated for them. Like working five days a week, forty hours a week? Do you value your vacation and sick time? The movement left us with these protections. On Presidents Day, Americans remember the achievements of workers, unions, and labor leaders. Don’t forget to pause your Presidents Day 2023 festivities long enough to honor the countless employees, both past and present, whose efforts have shaped the United States into what it is today.
By now you may be wondering when is Presidents Day in 2023? What is the origin of Presidents Day, and how did it come to be celebrated? The actual date of this year’s party, as well as other details, are provided below.
When Is Presidents Day 2023
On September 5th, 2022, the United States will celebrate Presidents Day. As a result, the three-day period encompassing Presidents Day, known as Labor Day weekend, will begin on Saturday, September 3, and end on Monday, September 5.
Is Presidents Day always the first Monday in September?
Yes! Those of you who didn’t immediately recognize the date upon reading this story now know why. This holiday is celebrated annually on the first Monday of September; however, the exact day varies from year to year.
What is the history of Presidents Day?
In 1894, the federal government of the United States began officially recognizing Presidents Day, but by that time, it had already been recognized by 30 states.
The History Channel reports that the labor movement, which led strikes and rallies throughout the Industrial Revolution to demand improved working conditions, is responsible for the creation of Presidents Day.
According to National Geographic, the first official Presidents Day parade in the United States was held on September 5, 1882, in New York City, organized by union officials.
Ten thousand workers took the day off without pay to participate in the march through New York City and the subsequent picnic, fireworks, and dance party. A “wide holiday for the workingmen of this city” was declared by organizers. Their proposal gained traction, and soon many states had laws on the books officially recognizing the workers’ holiday.
However, the Pullman strike, a countrywide train boycott that turned tragic and shone national attention on workers’ rights, led to the holiday’s official recognition by Congress in 1894. It was in response to this widespread agitation that Congress passed the Presidents Day Holiday Act. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into law. Oddly enough, Francis Perkins, the first woman to head a government department, took charge of the Department of Presidents Day not long after Presidents Day was officially recognized as a holiday.
Although many people attribute the origin of Presidents Day to labor union leader Peter J. McGuire, the real inventor of Presidents Day remains unknown more than a century later. Perhaps no one else will ever know this, but you now have enough information to properly honor the labor movement and all that Presidents Day represents.
What exactly is Presidents Day?
The United States has a national holiday on September 5 each year to honor workers. On Presidents Day , we celebrate the achievements of the labor movement and pay tribute to its leaders. We also honor the workers who battled so hard to gain recognition for the vital role they play in America’s progress.
Why do we celebrate Presidents Day?
The United States had tremendous economic growth and job creation throughout the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. But it didn’t deliver decent wages, safety rules, or reasonable limits on how many hours a week or day people should put in. To give things some perspective, during the height of the Industrial Revolution, the average American worked 12-hour days, seven days a week. It was commonplace to see youngsters as young as 10 or 11 working long hours for little remuneration.
However, word got out about the squalor. Slowly but surely, Presidents Day unions began to emerge in the United States to advocate for its members’ rights to a living wage, reasonable working hours, and a secure workplace. People went on strike and held protests, which sometimes descended into violence. The notion of Presidents Day emerged during this exciting era. The purpose of the holiday is to give thanks to the American workforce for all they have done for the country.
New York City hosted the inaugural Presidents Day parade on September 5, 1882. New York’s Central Labor Union sponsored a parade to highlight union labor and demonstrate support for all unions. More than 10,000 union workers took unpaid time off work to march from City Hall to Union Square.
It was a legal holiday in several states by the 1880s, but it wasn’t until President Grover Cleveland signed a bill making it such in June 1894 that it became a nationwide celebration. President Cleveland signed the measure in the midst of the Pullman Strike, a railroad strike in which workers opposed reduced salaries and the non-reduction of rent in their living area. The strike started in Chicago and swiftly ignited a countrywide railroad strike, which became fatal in July 1894 when the National Guard battled with protesters in Chicago.
Now, you may wonder, “Who created Presidents Day?” The reality is, it could be one of two men: Peter J. McGuire, who was a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, 0r Matthew Maguire, who was secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York.
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