Sonora, CA — President´s Day has almost shut down the entire city of Sonora.
While retail outlets hope to flourish as visitors travel to the Mother Lode on a beautiful Monday, the post office, all city, county, state and federal offices and the couts along with full service bank branches are closed. Oh, and don´t forget schools; students will only have a four days of classes this week.
The original version of the holiday was in commemoration of George Washington´s birthday in 1776. By the early 19th century Washington´s Birthday had taken firm root in the American experience as a bona fide national holiday. Old calendars state that Washington was born on February 11. The traditions included Birthnight Balls in various regions, speeches and receptions given by prominent public figures and a lot of revelry in taverns throughout the land.
Then along came Abraham Lincoln, another revered president and fellow February baby. “Honest Abe” was born on February 12th. The first formal observance of his birthday took place in 1865 the year after his assassination by John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theatre.
In 1968 legislation was enacted that affected several federal holidays. This act shifted the observance of Washington´s birthday to the third Monday in February regardless the date. And while the holiday is still officially known as Washington´s Birthday, it has become popularity known as President´s Day, a day to honor both Washington and Lincoln and well as all other men who have served as president.
(Historical text courtesy of patriotism.org)
Written by Bill Johnson