What Is Presidents Day? And What's With All The Mattress Sales?

February 15, 2016Feb 15, 2016

Just what is Presidents Day? How is it celebrated? And why are there so many mattress sales?


Here are 5 things to know about this holiday:
1. COMBO DAY: Presidents Day is a combination of George Washington's birthday (Feb. 22) and Abraham Lincoln's birthday (Feb. 12). According to USA Today, in 1971, those who days were combined as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which set the new Presidents Day on the third Monday of every February to give federal workers and others a long weekend. Some states still celebrate the birthdays separately, not wanting to diminish the importance of either of those presidents.
2. RECOGNIZED YET UNRECOGNIZED: Oddly enough, even though most banks and government offices are closed for the federal holiday, the U.S. government still lists George Washington's Feb. 15 birthday as the holiday.
3. SOMEWHAT CELEBRATED: Some states and groups commemorate the holiday by celebrating additional historic figures, staging reenactments, and teaching presidential history.
4. LEARN MORE: A number of historic Washington and Lincoln sites, as well as places that bear their name, hold special birthday celebrations for the presidents to encourage more people to learn about them.
5. GET YOUR MATTRESSES: What do mattress sales have to do with the presidents, and why are there so many this weekend? Forbes points out that both members of a household are needed to try out a new mattress, so having a sale on a long weekend gives them a better chance of shopping together. Time Magazine points out that same reasoning applies fairly well to other big items on sale this weekend — furniture, large appliances, and vehicles. Time also points out that in many parts of the country, people may be experiencing cabin fever and want a good excuse to get out of the house and bring something new home.

How do you celebrate this day?