Maybe, like me, you’re old enough to remember when Presidents’ Day was celebrated as Washington’s Birthday, and with Lincoln’s birthday so close, there was sometimes confusion between the two. Maybe, unlike me, you’ve known all along that there actually is no federal holiday called Presidents’ Day. (I just looked it up today because I wanted to know when the name changed!) In 1968 there was an act of Congress called The Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved the observance of most holidays to specific Mondays so people could have a three day weekends. The bill had widespread support from both the private sector and labor unions and was seen as a surefire way to bolster retail sales. Are you going out today to look for “Presidents’ Day Deals”?
At the same time, there was a proposal to rename the federal holiday of Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day, in order to honor both Washington and Lincoln, but that effort failed. It is still officially called Washington’s Birthday by the federal government. President’s Day never falls on the actual birthday of any American president. It’s actually up to individual states to decide what they call the holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February, but by the mid-1980s, Washington’s Birthday was known to many Americans as Presidents’ Day. By the early 2000s, as many as half the 50 states had changed the holiday’s name to Presidents’ Day on their calendars.
Some states have chosen to customize the holiday by adding new figures to the celebration. For example, Arkansas celebrates Washington as well as civil rights activist Daisy Gatson Bates. Alabama uses Presidents’ Day to commemorate Washington and Thomas Jefferson (who was born in April). That gave me the bright idea to declare the third Monday in February a day to honor all the presidents of the various collection industry organizations that serve us so well.
- Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) – Jeffrey Schatzman
- Debt Buyers Association (DBA) – Bryan Faliero
- International Association of Commercial Collectors (IACC) – Lee VandenHeuvel
- National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys (NARCA) – Joann Needleman
- National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) – Daran P. Kiefer
- ACA International (ACA) – Leslie Bender
The past year has been a challenging one for the debt collection industry. But with such capable people at the helm of these organizations, we have every reason to believe that we will overcome any stumbling blocks in our path and that the industry will continue to grow and flourish!
I want to extend my personal thanks to these presidents as well as to Jeffry Zuck, the president of The National List of Attorneys. Under his leadership, we continue to offer the premiere attorney referral services, including being a major supplier of industry information.
I would like to wish all of our loyal members, customers and friends in the Collection Industry a very enjoyable Presidents’ Day Weekend.
Randy Nicola, NL Vice President