Monday, February 15, 2010

President's Day

So, those of you who know me, know that I have this thing with trivial information--like I can't fill my head with enough of it. I'm also very curious. So, on this day off I thought I would do a little research to answer some questions that I have. Then, of course I will share my information with you.

President's day. . . hmmm.
This morning I asked myself the following:
Why do we celebrate this random day? How was this specific day selected when only 4 of our presidents celebrated birthdays in February, yet 6 of them were born in October. Shouldn't President's day be in October? or even August when 5 presidents have birthdays? Why February? This month is the shortest and it already has "The Day that Shall Not Be Named" (having to do with flowers, candy and hearts). If it's true that we celebrate President's day to honor the birthday of our first president George Washington, then why in the world don't we call it George Washington Day (you know, like MLK or Columbus)?

I did a tad of research and found out that President's day is indeed meant to honor the birthday of good ol' George Washington. His birthday is February 22nd. . .which means that we never actually celebrate President's day on his birthday since on January 1, 1971, the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the "Uniform Monday Holiday Act." This date places President's Day between February 15 and 21.

WAIT A SECOND!!! Did you know that we have something called the "Uniform Monday Holiday Act?" Yeah, me either. . . . I guess I'll save that little nugget for later. Right now I think it's important to actually celebrate President's Day the way it was originally intended.

So, here's to George Washington. . . and a few things we owe to the man.
Our democracy as we know it is owed to GW. After the revolution he could have "ruled" like a dictator but essentially, he established our Presidency as we know it (he refused to run for a third term which is why we have 2 term limits). He was an influential founding father, valued the will of the people, and his foreign policy kept the US out of a lot of skirmishes that would have threatened our countries new-found freedom.

By the way, he didn't have wooden teeth (dentures, yes, but they weren't made of wood), the cherry tree story isn't exactly factual (more of a legend), and he was the first of the founding fathers to free his slaves. How 'bout that.

So Happy Not-Exactly-George-Washington-or-Abraham-Lincoln's-Birthday Day. Hope you enjoy the day off. :)

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