Why do we celebrate Presidents Day? - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Why do we celebrate Presidents Day?

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Monday, schools, federal buildings, and some businesses across the country were closed in observance of Presidents Day.

We celebrate Presidents Day every single February, but most of us don't put any thought into it outside of what's open and what's closed. Major universities like Cameron are open on Presidents Day, but public schools across America are closed. The courthouse and post office are also closed, but Presidents Day is perhaps better known for the stores that are open, like mattress stores that have some of their best sales of the year on Presidents Day weekend.

"For years and years as far back as I can remember in the mattress business, Presidents Day came around, it was always the biggest day, here comes Presidents Day, here come the people,” said Mattress Studio owner Jay Damron.

Damron said his family has been in the mattress business since 1927 and that they have always been busy on Presidents Day weekend. He said he doesn't know exactly why, but had a few theories.

"This time of year, people are thinking about sleep, you’re indoors more, the nights are longer, the days are shorter, but a mattress is by far the most important purchase you can make,” Damron said.

But that does little to explain the purpose behind Presidents Day. We know what's open and closed but why do we celebrate this holiday at all? I

"It really started off as a celebration of Washington's birthday, celebrating the contribution that he made to our country, but it's turned into a celebration of all of our presidents, in particular, Lincoln,” said political science professor at Cameron University Wendy Whitman Cobb.

Whitman Cobb said Washington's birthday has been celebrated since at least the 1800s. In the 1950s, she said we began celebrating our more modern version of the holiday. She said Presidents Day is an important holiday to celebrate.

"The tolls of the job can be very difficult for them and the fact they made that sacrifice to spend however many years in office, giving us their time, their energy and sometimes their lives, is a worthy thing to pay attention to and to thank them for,” said Whitman Cobb.

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