If it feels like President’s Day revolves more around mattress sales than a true tribute to the chief executives, it comes as no surprise to those who proposed the date. Originally celebrated separately as Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s birthday, the Uniform Holiday Act combined the two and designated the third Monday in February as the new date.

Even at the bill’s inception, lawmakers realized that creating more three-day weekends would have residual benefits beyond reflection on the persons the holiday honored. According to the History Channel, “while some argued that shifting holidays from their original dates would cheapen their meaning, the bill also had widespread support from both the private sector and labor unions and was seen as a surefire way to bolster retail sales.”

So today, as you head out to participate in commerce if you have the day off, take a moment to reflect on the service of those statesmen on your currency. Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson and Franklin all played an influential role to lay the foundation that has kept our democracy alive for two centuries.

Do something today to make note of their sacrifices and legacy besides shopping for a mattress. Here are some fun facts to get you started.

 

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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