By WILLIAM J. KELLY
Years ago we celebrated both George Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays on Feb. 22 and Feb. 12, respectfully. I, like most of you, thought that in 1968 the two birthdays were combined into Presidents’ Day.
However, in searching for the actual year of its inception, I learned that the third Monday of February was officially Washington’s birthday, and no mention of Lincoln’s birthday was included. It was just dropped. This all happened when the federal government decided to schedule all federal holidays on Mondays to give we people a long three-day holiday, and it was influenced by businesses that wanted the extra day for sales to off-work shoppers.
I personally think that Washington, as the father of our country, should have his own designated federal and state holiday. A president’s day could be designated to honor all other presidents, and each new president’s name could be added with all the previous presidents’ names. What do you think?
• From George Washington our first president: “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” “The constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.”
• From Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president: “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts; not to overthrow the Congress, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.”
Note that both of these great presidents had very strong belief in the Constitution. What do you think?
As a boy, I was aware that we all had cherry pie on Washington’s birthday. This probably came about when George’s dad asked who cut his cherry tree down? Young George said, “I cannot tell a lie, I did it.” True or not, we young ones were told this story to teach us not to tell a lie.