On the third Monday in February, the United States celebrates the federal holiday known as Presidents Day. The day takes place during the birth month of the country’s two most prominent presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. While the day once only honored President George Washington on his birthday, February 22nd, the day now never lands on a single president’s birthday.
Across the country, most Americans know the day as Presidents Day. More and more of the population celebrates the day to honor all of the past United States Presidents who have served the country. Throughout the country, organizations and communities celebrate the day with public ceremonies.
HOW TO OBSERVE #PresidentsDay
Some businesses close, including banks and federal buildings. Celebrate your favorite U.S. president. Here are some ways to participate:
- Watch a documentary about the POTUS. For example, The Presidents by the History Channel.
- See if you can name all the presidents in order.
Challenge yourself to some presidential trivia:
- Who are the three presidents who served in 1841?
- Forty years later, this same phenomenon occurred again in 1881. Name the three presidents who served that year.
- Name the three presidents who died on July 4th.
- Who were the four presidents who were assassinated while in office?
Use #PresidentsDay to post on social media.
PRESIDENTS DAY HISTORY
The origin of Presidents Day lay in the 1880s when the birthday of George Washington was celebrated as a federal holiday. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill. The bill moved several federal holidays to Mondays creating three-day weekends. During the debate on the bill, one proposal suggested George Washington’s birthday be renamed Presidents Day to honor the birthdays of both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Washington’s birthday is February 22nd and Lincoln’s birthday is February 12th. Although Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was celebrated in many states, it was never an official federal holiday. Following much discussion, Congress rejected the name change.
Despite the rejection, soon after the bill went into effect in 1971, and the observance of Washington’s birthday shifted to the third Monday in February, gradually Presidents Day became the commonly accepted name. Over time, the observance came to be known to many as a day to honor both Washington and Lincoln. However, today another shift has occurred and many see the day as a celebration of all the U.S. Presidents.
- Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler
- Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, and Chester A. Arthur.
- John Adams, James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson.
- Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, John F. Kennedy
SINGLES AWARENESS DAY
On February 15th, Singles Awareness Day reminds us that there’s nothing wrong with being single. In fact, the day after Valentine’s Day points out all the ways that singledom benefits our communities and more.
There are several benefits to being unattached. Singles can come and go as they please with no regard to a partner’s schedule, wants or needs. Career opportunity? A single doesn’t need to consult a spouse before accepting an offer. It’s also easier for a single to keep up healthy habits. There isn’t anyone to sabotage their efforts to work out and eat healthily. Singles also tend to be more self-reliant and involved in their communities.
Singles come in all ages, too. Whether they’re single by choice or happenstance, recently single or pursuing singledom for the long haul, they tend to lead independent lives. However, that doesn’t mean they are alone. Singles may be raising a child or grandchild. They may be caring for a parent or sibling.
Despite the images of a spinster, a partying bachelor, a single’s lifestyle can take on quite a different look. They may take on many roles from a professional to a community leader, caregiver, and volunteer.
HOW TO OBSERVE #SinglesAwarenessDay
Take a closer look at the single people in your life. They may not need a matchmaker, just someone who doesn’t see them as a fifth wheel. Singles, participate in local events. Use #SinglesAwarenessDay to post on social media.
SINGLES AWARENESS DAY HISTORY
Our research has found that Singles Awareness Day has been around since 1999. In a blog post dated February 11, 2005, Mississippi State University student, Dustin Barnes lays claim to the creation of the day. According to his article, Barnes and his high school friends invented it “back in the day.” The earliest record we could find of the day in print is 1999. Another celebration has been taking place in the United Kingdom for some time. Some of the articles we found references to the celebration in the UK while others make no reference at all. Whether the observance was created in the US or crossed the pond and grew from there, we can’t be sure.
- Singles Day
- National Singles Day
- Singles Week
NATIONAL GUMDROP DAY
Observed on February 15th, National Gumdrop Day recognizes a favorite candy of many; the gumdrop! There’s no question as to what to do. Eat gumdrops and eat as many as you want!
Gumdrops are a tasty, colorful, chewy candy that is made with gelatin and then coated with sugar. They come in a variety of flavors and can either be fruity or spicy. These little candy treats make terrific embellishments for decorating gingerbread houses and other baked goods.
The classic board game, Candy Land, features both a Gumdrop Pass and a Gumdrop Mountain.
Besides enjoying them by the handful, there are many other ways to use gumdrops:
- In cookies
- Decorate cakes or cupcakes
- In popcorn cake
- For crafts
- For gifts
You can also make gumdrops yourself. According to many recipes, you would need vegetable oil, sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice, powdered fruit pectin, baking soda, and food coloring.
Credit for the modern gumdrop goes to chemist and candy manufacturer Percy S. Truesdell. According to articles after his death in 1948, Truesdell took the once hard, poorly flavored glob of sugar and turned it into the smooth, chewy delight we enjoy today. While at the University of Ohio, the chemist altered the consistency of the candy by experimenting with the amount of starch used. He later worked for the Snyder-Chafee Company until 1915. In 1916, Truesdell founded and incorporated the P.S. Truesdell Candy Manufacturing Company. At his death, he became known as the Gumdrop King.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalGumdropDay
Listen to The Crew Cuts sing their song “Gum Drop” or play a game of Candy Land. As you do, be sure to enjoy your favorite gumdrops, too!
Enjoy one of the following colorful recipes:
Use #NationalGumdropDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL GUMDROP DAY HISTORY
While National Day Calendar has not uncovered the origin of National Gum Drop Day, it has been observed since at least 2004.
In 2017, National Day Calendar® began celebrating each state in the order they entered the union starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. We highlight a small part of each states’ history, foods and the people who make up the state. Many states have their own state celebrations, and National Day Calendar’s observances in no way replace them. There’s so much more to explore, we can’t help but celebrate our beautiful country even more!
NATIONAL WISCONSIN DAY
On February 15th, National Wisconsin Day recognizes The Badger State.
Rich in copper, lead, forest and fertile farmland, Wisconsin became the 30th state on May 29, 1848. In 1634, French explorer Jean Nicolet was the first European to reach Wisconsin while seeking a Northwest passage to China.
A mining boom, not fur trading, led to the nickname The Badger State. According to oral history, the miners burrowed into the hillsides much like badgers for shelter instead of setting up more permanent homesteads. The first wave of settlers to the area also began the uprooting of the Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Chippewa and other indigenous people.
Early in Wisconsin’s settlement, dairy production began to take root. By the turn of the century, the state became known for its dairy farms and synonymous with cheese.
Mining, dairies, and breweries grew one after the other. An influx of German immigrants in the 1850s brought a new brand of dreamers. Brewers cropped up across Wisconsin satisfying the thirst of The Badger State. As with brewers in other regions of the country, the 18th Amendment of 1919 prohibiting alcohol drowned out much of the competition leaving only a handful after the legislation was repealed in 1933.
From Lake Michigan to Superior and numerous river and lakes in between, Wisconsin offers ample opportunity for water recreation and sport. There are also year-round trails perfect for summer hiking or substantial snow for winter activities.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalWisconsinDay
“Discover a taste of Wisconsin. Join National Day Calendar as we explore the 30th state’s history, people, and culture. Uncover and Travel Wisconsin with all her hidden treasures and amazing landscapes!” Use #NationalWisconsinDay to share on social media.
February 15th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
Morris and Rose Michtom create the first Teddy Bear inspired by a cartoon printed in the Washington Post depicting President Roosevelt sparing an orphaned bear cub.
J. Howard Miller’s “We Can Do It!” poster is displayed in Westinghouse factories. The image depicting a woman with a red and white bandana, her sleeves rolled up and making a fist served as the iconic emblem of all the women who stepped into the roles of Rosie the Riveters and war jobs like those.
Walt Disney’s animated film Cinderella opens in theaters.
Canada officially inaugurates its Maple Leaf flag in a public ceremony.
Recipe of the Day
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3-5 minutes
Total Prep: 5-10 minutes
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup half-and-half cream or evaporated milk
¼ cup butter, cubed
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
Combine brown sugar and cornstarch in saucepan.
Add remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil and stir until thickened, about 3 minutes.
February 15th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Cyrus McCormick – 1809
The American blacksmith is best known for inventing the mechanical reaper in 1831 and ushering in modern agricultural practices.
Susan B. Anthony – 1820
The American Quaker led a wave of reform for women’s suffrage and rights. Anthony was integral to the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and though she never lived to see its passage, the amendment was named in her honor.
Harold Arlen – 1905
The prolific American composer produced some of stage and film’s most beloved tunes. His songs were both catchy and memorable. Some of his most popular included “That Old Black Magic,” “The Man That Got Away,” “Stormy Weather,” “Over the Rainbow,” and “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive.”
Caroline Robinson Jones – 1942
In 1986, the advertising executive founded her own ad company and soon was one of the most successful women in advertising. Her campaigns included marketing for Goodyear, KFC, McDonald’s, and many more.
Matt Groening – 1954
The American cartoonist has developed several animated television series including The Simpsons, Futurama, and Disenchantment.
Charles Lewis Tiffany – 1812
Ernest Shackleton – 1874
Jane Seymour – 1951
Chris Farley – 1964
Gary Clark Jr – 1984
About National Day Calendar
National Day Calendar® is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.
There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!
Our Ambassador Program is another way #CelebrateEveryDay®! Whether you become an ambassador or follow one of the savvy ambassadors, their fun videos and posts will keep you prepared for every holiday.