President’s Day is an American holiday in which we celebrate the United States Presidents. The holiday was originally established in 1885 to honor George Washington’s birthday on February 22. Eventually, the date as moved to the third Monday in February. Per the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act, this was done to create more three day weekends for the nation’s workers. The holiday soon became known as President’s Day and a day to celebrate all the United States Presidents past and present.
The President of the United States is the chief of the executive branch of the United States and the presidency is the highest political office in the United States. The President is also the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
The President and Vice President are elected every four years. The requirements are that they must be at least 35 years of age and a “natural born” citizen of the United States. The election process of selecting the President is written into the U.S. Constitution and it has been modified over the years by the 12th, 22nd, 23rd amendments. Upon the death, resignation or removal from office of an incumbent President, the Vice President will assume the office.
There have been 43 Presidents, Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms and is counted as both the 22nd and 24th President. Four Presidents died of natural causes while in office, William Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren Harding and Franklin Roosevelt. Four Presidents were assassinated, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and John Kennedy. Only one president has resigned from office, Richard Nixon.
- George Washington was our first President and he was inaugurated in 1789 with the only unanimous vote from the Electoral College. Franklin Roosevelt served the longest at over twelve years and died shortly after the start of his fourth term in 1945. Per the 22nd amendment, the number of terms a President can now serve is limited to two terms. William Harrison served the shortest with only 32 days in office and died of pneumonia.
- The United States first capitol was located in New York City from 1789 to 1790. George Washington’s first inauguration took place at Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City. From 1790 to 1800, the United States capitol had moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Washington’s second inauguration took place. Washington never lived in the White House but he did select the site for the White House in 1791. The cornerstone was laid in 1792 and after eight years of construction President John Adams was the first President to move into the White House.
- Virginia and Ohio enjoy a friendly rivalry for the state where the most Presidents have been born. Eight Presidents were born in Virginia: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson. Seven Presidents were born in Ohio: Ulysses Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Taft and Warren Harding.
- July 4th is a date in history long associated with the birth of the United States. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826. James Monroe also died on July 4, 1831. Calvin Coolridge is the only President to have been born on July 4 in 1872.
- The smallest President was James Madison, he was five feet 4 inches and weighed less than 100 pounds. The tallest President was Abraham Lincoln at 6 feet 4 inches. The heaviest President was William Taft who weighed 332 pounds.
- Grover Cleveland was the only President to have been married in the White House, he married Frances Folsom in 1886 in the Blue Room. He is also the only President to have had a child while in office, Cleveland’s second child, Esther, was born in 1893. The first child ever born in the White House is the grandson of Thomas Jefferson in 1806, James Randolph. James Buchanan was the only bachelor President.
- Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest to assume the office of President at the age of 42. He was Vice President to William McKinley who was assassinated in 1901. The youngest President elected to office was John Kennedy at the age of 43. The oldest President to assume office was Ronald Reagan at the age of 69.
For some fun movies to watch on President’s day, please check out President’s Day (Part Two)