Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Clearing Up Confusion Around President's Day

How did President's Day come about? Who – and what – does it celebrate? How has its meaning changed over the years? Host Tom Fudge finds these answers from a local political science professor.

Clearing Up Confusion Around President's Day

Today is President's Day. That means a fair number of people will have the day off and a few retailers will have some big sales. But what else does it mean? What, exactly, are we celebrating today?

The confusion over President's Day includes not only what to call it it, but how it's spelled. This day used to be called George Washington's Birthday, and the federal holiday calendar still calls it that. The calendar on your wall, however, may call it President's Day. But does the apostrophe come before or after the S, signifying one president or more? And if it signifies more than one, does that mean Washington and Lincoln, or all the presidents?


Joining me to clear all this up is political science professor Carl Luna.


  • Carl Luna, professor of political science at San Diego Mesa College and contributor to the book Public Pillars, Private Lives: the Strengths and Limitations of the Modern American Presidents.

End Music: 
Listen Here by Eddie Harris, from the album The Real Electrifying Eddie Harris (1999)