Today is Presidents’ Day.
Or is it “Presidents Day”? Or even “President’s Day”? You can find all those variations online, although if you parse them they mean very different things.
It was significantly easier before 1971, the year they consolidated Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays (no problem with the possessives there) into one holiday and moved it to the third Monday of February, where it floated around a bit in terms of dates.
I was surprised to learn that (at least, according to this site) it’s still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the feds. You could have fooled me—and the Post Office, whose website, in announcing the fact that post offices are closed today, refers to the holiday as “President’s Day.”
Note the possessive singular. No doubt it’s the nefarious Donald Trump again, giving out orders that it is his day and his alone! One president, now and forever.
It’s the singular, too, for whatever number of people will be gathering together to show how fervently and righteously (lefteously?) un-Trump they are in honor of what they are calling “Not my President’s Day.”
More on the history of the day itself:
By the mid-1980s Washington’s Birthday was known to many Americans as Presidents’ Day. This shift had solidified in the early 2000s, by which time as many as half the 50 states had changed the holiday’s name to Presidents’ Day on their calendars. Some states have even chosen to customize the holiday by adding new figures to the celebration. Arkansas, for instance, celebrates Washington as well as civil rights activist Daisy Gatson Bates. Alabama, meanwhile, uses Presidents’ Day to commemorate Washington and Thomas Jefferson (who was born in April).
Washington and Lincoln still remain the two most recognized leaders, but Presidents’ Day is now popularly seen as a day to recognize the lives and achievements of all of America’s chief executives. Some lawmakers have objected to this view, arguing that grouping George Washington and Abraham Lincoln together with less successful presidents minimizes their legacies.
Of course, people are now free to celebrate whatever president they wish to honor. How about some of the more obscure ones? Let’s have a big trophy for everyone!