Presidents Day is a holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. It is a day when Americans honor the leaders who have served as President of the United States.
At first, the holiday celebrated the birthday of the first President, George Washington. Now, the holiday also celebrates the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, also born in February, as well as the lives and accomplishments of the other Presidents.
- The president must be at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, and have lived in the United States at least 14 years.
- Americans vote for president every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. That popular vote chooses delegates to the Electoral College, which elects the President. The President serves for four years, and can be elected to four additional years.
- The President wears many hats. The Constitution assigns the president two roles: chief executive of the federal government and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. As Commander in Chief, the president has the authority to send troops into combat, and is the only one who can decide whether to use nuclear weapons.As chief executive, the President enforces laws, treaties, and court rulings; develops federal policies; prepares the national budget; and appoints federal officials. He also approves or vetoes acts of Congress and grants pardons.
- The President earns $400,000 each year, plus additional expenses and benefits such as living at the White House.
Use Presidents Day as a civic learning opportunity. Learn about the roles and history of the President and evaluate leadership, communication and political skills. A variety of activities are available. Modify based on your grade level or subject area. For example, you can focus students on the community, North Carolina, the United States or another country. Connect this to history, literature or in a global community.