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George Washington’s Birthday (sorta)

Today—the third Monday in February—is the day Congress set aside to be a holiday for federal workers, and coincidentally, celebrate George Washington’s Birthday. For the advertisers of shopping malls, grocery stores, car dealerships, mattresses, or big-box consumer electronics, it is President’s Day Presidents Day Presidents’ Day.

Last year I wrote Part One and Part Two articles about George Washington’s Birthday, and at the end I encouraged readers to reclaim the day for George Washington. But I must conclude that “Presidents’ Day” is here to stay, especially since some states (Texas, for one) have proclaimed it thus in their own state codes.

But February 22 is still George Washington’s Birthday, and that’s the day I am going to celebrate. I hope you will join me.

5 thoughts on “George Washington’s Birthday (sorta)

  1. Even my Boy Scout calendar is silent regarding the significance of Feb 12 and Feb 22.

    My little brother was born in Feb 22, 1960. I never asked him about it, but I’ll bet he wasn’t happy that Congress merged Washington & Lincoln’s birthdays into a single “Presidents’ Day” holiday.

    Oh well, I suppose some recognition is better than none at all.

  2. Fred, it would be cool to share a birthday with the Father of Our Country. (I share a birthday with a Vice-President but he wasn’t cool and I’m not telling his name.)

    I do have this strong memory of my first-grade class room decorated for Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday. The teacher cut out silhouettes of the two Presidents, then pasted each one onto a large red heart, which was then pasted onto an even larger paper lace doily. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I wonder how the holiday is treated in school these days.

  3. It wouldn’t surprise me if the schools completely ignore the actual birthdays. My son’s school is out on Presidents’ Day — that’s about the only appreciation he has for either one of them.

  4. Well, the 19th was Texas Statehood Day, and is my custom, I wore a bright shirt to work that looks like a Texas Flag.

    I got a lot of nice comments about it, but I don’t think anyone made the connection to the date I was celebrating. Sure enough, when I got home that evening, I asked my son if his history teacher mentioned anything about the significance of the day — and of course, the answer was “no”. And if I hadn’t told my son, he’d still have no idea of the significance of Feb 19, 1846.

    With teachers that no longer know this stuff, is it any wonder our kids don’t?

  5. Texas Statehood Day on February 19 slipped by me this year Fred, even though you and Larry previously discussed it (we are still crafting the perfect business calendar). I do not recall an emphasis on this date as a school-girl—seems like my teachers highlighted March 2 and April 21, 1836 as the premier dates to remember.

    When I was in school, all 7th graders in Texas had a semester of Texas geography and a semester of Texas history—that was state-wide. I assume they still do, but don’t know for certain. I need to see if I can find a contemporary text book for Texas history.

    Thank you for your efforts!

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