The stock market has been closed for a number of reasons since its inception, some that you may feel are valid and some that you may feel are not. They include:
- The centennial celebration of Washington’s inauguration
- The death of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, and King George V.
- The death of J.P. Morgan.
- Draft Registration Day.
- No heat on the trading floor.
- The return of General Pershing.
- Parades for both Charles Lindbergh and General Eisenhower.
- National Day of Mourning for Martin Luther King.
- The “Paperwork Crisis” of 1968.
- Heavy snow.
- National Day of Participation for the lunar exploration.
- Hurricane Gloria.
- 9-11 (multiple days).
The markets have also been closed for a National Day of Mourning for the funeral of every president up to Gerald Ford’s in 2007.
Today some people think that the markets are closed for a holiday called “President’s Day,” but that is not the case. In fact, according to the NYSE’s own site, it is closed for Washington’s birthday:
Washington’s Birthday was first declared a federal holiday by an 1879 act of Congress. The Monday Holiday Law, enacted in 1968, shifted the date of the commemoration of Washington’s Birthday from February 22 to the third Monday in February, but neither that law nor any subsequent law changed the name of the holiday from Washington’s Birthday to President’s Day. Although the third Monday in February has become popularly known as President’s Day, the NYSE’s designation of Washington’s Birthday as an Exchange holiday (Rule 51) follows the form of the federal holiday outlined above (section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code).
When I was in was in school we had Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthday’s off as separate holidays. Then somewhere along the line Lincoln’s got dropped and Washington’s mutated into this amorphous, beige-paint type holiday called President’s Day.
When Abe and George’s birthday’s were both still around there were TV specials, memorials, and school plays where you could actually learn something about the life and times of the two greatest presidents in American history. There was some meaning to those two holidays and some significance past just being a three-day weekend and an excuse for department stores to have a sale.
I mean what sort of bullshit holiday is President’s Day anyway? Who are we honoring, both Lincoln and Washington? Are we honoring all the presidents? If that is the case then I am sure there are a lot of people whose heads will explode when you tell them they are honoring George W. Bush or Jimmy Carter today.
And I for one will tell you that there is no way in the world that I will honor in any way, shape, or form that bastard Franklin Pierce.
Some will try to indulge in revisionist history and say that we are honoring the “Office of the President” today, but don’t even try that crap on me because it doesn’t even make sense. I once broke up with a girlfriend who tried to pedal that BS to me, and she was a stripper.
The whole concept of a generic President’s Day just seems so politically correct to me, like when they do away with first place awards in children’s sports and just give everybody “participation” trophies. I don’t want my Hoover’s, Nixon’s, and Clinton’s mixed in with my Roosevelt’s, Truman’s, and Reagan’s. One of the keys to the American ideal is identifying exceptionalism, and that should apply most when honoring the leaders of our country.
So tomorrow, after you have bought a new pair of shoes in honor of William Howard Taft or grilled some steaks while thinking of Rutherford B. Hayes, take a few minutes out of your day and email you representative and tell them you want them to get rid of this communist based President’s Day holiday. Tell them you want a return to presidential holidays that mean something, and while they are at it, tell them to bring back Columbus Day as well.