Monday, February 20, 2012

On Washington's (and Lincoln's) Birthday

When I was in grade school - back in the primeval days - February was my favorite month. February 12th was (is?) Lincolns Birthday. We spent the first party of the month studying President Lincoln. We learned patriotic songs and made Lincoln face masks. We also learned about Lincoln and the Civil War.

After Lincolns birthday we prepared for Washington's birthday on February 22nd. We discussed the American Revolution. We learned more patriotic songs and made paper hatchets to chop down paper cherry trees's. Of course got both days off.

On January 1st, 1971 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act went into effect - Supposedly to increase the number of three day weekends for federal employees. Lincoln, Washington, Andrew Jackson* and Andrew Johnson are all celebrated on the same day. Teachers are freed from changing their lesson plans to account for the vagaries of the calendar. Students are freed from learning a bit more history.  Today children  think that James Tiberius Kirk was the first president of the United States.

In a Quixotic urge to salvage some relevance to this mess, Mr. Jason Bezis of Rockville, Md,  is trying to restore meaning to Washington's Birthday as indicated in the Christian Science Monitor. Note, The Christian Science Monotor and the Wall Street Journal are, IMHO, the only two newspapers of note left in these United States.

* For those of you who care - Andrew Jackson is responsible for "The Indian Removal Act" otherwise known as "The Trail of Tears."

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