On Presidents Day, We Honor ... Someone

Question: Who is honored on Presidents Day?

Answer: Not Ronald Reagan. Or Franklin D. Roosevelt. Or Grover Cleveland or Martin Van Buren.

FoxNews.com conducted an informal and very unscientific poll in midtown Manhattan on Monday and found there are a lot of people who think Presidents Day honors a lot of presidents — with responses ranging from George Washington (No. 1) to Barack Obama (No. 44), with many others in between.

"I just assumed it was all of them," said Erika Derocher, 23, of Milwaukee, Wis. "Is it a combination of their birthdays so there's less holidays? Well, there you go, at least I know that."

Ibrahaema Doumbouya, 44, of Senegal, said he thought Obama has done enough of a "good job" since being elected to be added to the mix.

"It'd be my pleasure if he got honored for Presidents Day," Doumbouya said.

The first correct response of the day came from Randy McDaniel, of Crestview, Fla., who quickly responded: Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

In 1971, Congress passed a bill to rename Washington's birthday Presidents Day, and to celebrate it on the third Monday of February instead of the actual date of Washington's birth — Feb. 22. The holiday also was designated to honor Abraham Lincoln, whose Feb. 12 birthday was celebrated in many states but was not an official federal holiday.

But that was nearly 40 years ago. Now, it seems, many Americans are unsure exactly why their schools and banks and post offices are closed on Monday. Asked which presidents were being honored, people on the street provided many answers:

"Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson?" asked Shawn Putnam, 34, of West Hartford, Conn. "Does that sound right? Are we close?"

Chris Kim, 27, of New York City, had the correct answer but was less than sure.

"No clue, he said. "Lincoln? He's one of them. I don't know — Washington?"

To others, like 35-year-old Chris Paris, of Concord, N.H., Presidents Day is more about the office than the man.

"I mean, don't get me wrong, Lincoln and Washington were critical to who we are as a country, but I think [it should honor] all presidents," said Paris, who has a master's degree in history. "You know, the office is bigger than the person. But, it's like, our Constitution is something bigger. These people that take office, they're just people."