Ask the Audience: Presidents Day Spellings

Today is a federal and state holiday that goes by many names. While according to U.S. Code the official name of the holiday is “Washington’s Birthday”, a name also recognized in New Jersey (which also celebrates Lincoln’s Birthday) and New York State, the holiday is often referred to colloquially as [Presidents Day]. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a common spelling, and even esteemed sources are inconsistent in their uses, reporting it as Presidents Day, President’s Day, or Presidents’ Day.

Each has a decent case. Presidents Day is for honoring U.S. presidents just as we say (and write) Veterans Day, using an attributive noun. President’s Day adheres to the official designation as Washington’s Birthday (though Washington’s actual birthday doesn’t magically fall on the third Monday of February every year). On the other hand, we could have a holiday of all U.S. presidents, Presidents’ Day, and teach our kids the plural possessive at the same time.

What does our audience think?


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