Depiction by John Trumbull of Washington resigning his commission as commander-in-chief (Wikipedia)
I liked the holiday better when it was Washington's Birthday, which was actually celebrated on... Washington's Birthday! How weird is that? I find it obnoxious and irritating Congress bundled such luminaries as Ulysses Grant, Warren G. Harding, and Jimmy Carter... who should be "celebrated" only for their mediocrity and general uselessness... in to a holiday that formerly honored the Father of Our Country. And the worst part? Used car salesmen shouting at me to "come on down to Ralph Spoilsport Motors for our PRESIDENTS DAY SALE!" From The Wiki:
Today, the February holiday has become well-known for being a day in which many stores, especially car dealers, hold sales. Until the late 1980s, corporate businesses generally closed on this day, similar to present corporate practices on Memorial Day or Christmas Day. With the late 1980s advertising push to rename the holiday, more and more businesses are staying open on the holiday each year, and, as on Veterans Day and Columbus Day, most delivery services outside of the U.S. Postal Service now offer regular service on the day as well. Some public transit systems have also gone to regular schedules on the day. Many colleges and universities hold regular classes and operations on Presidents Day. Various theories exist for this, one accepted reason being to make up for the growing trend of corporations to close in observance of the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. However, when reviewing the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill debate of 1968 in the Congressional Record, one notes that supporters of the Bill were intent on moving federal holidays to Mondays to promote business. Over time, as with many federal holidays, few Americans actually celebrate Washington's Birthday, and it is mainly known as a day off from work or school, although many non-governmental workers do not take the day off.Sigh. OK. It's yet another case of "Get off my fuckin' lawn!", admittedly. But doesn't it irritate you too, Gentle Reader?
Related: Which president was best? Worst? Here's what The Wiki has on that.