Washington’s Birthday…

When I was a kid, there were two holidays in February: Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12) and then Washington’s birthday (February 22).  The usual motivation cited for changing that was a law that converted as many holidays as possible to Mondays, ‘The Uniform Monday Holiday Act’ which became law in 1971, ostensibly so workers could get more three-day weekends.  I suspect the idea of having two holidays in February gave the proletariat too much time off so we got “traded.”  They traded us two holidays that fell when they fell for a single three-day weekend.

Officially, the Federal holiday recognized on the third Monday in February is still called ‘Washington’s Birthday.’  There was talk of changing the name at the Federal level to ‘President’s Day’ but that idea proved to controversial.  Many individual states, though, have been making the switch.  In an ironic twist of fate, it was Richard Nixon who signed the law that created what is slowly becoming known as ‘President’s Day.’  Richard Nixon, the one President of this once-great nation who has had to resign in disgrace.  You know…so far…

I’ve never been much of a fan of the ‘President’s Day’ moniker.  Nixon is an excellent example of why.  When we celebrate ‘President’s Day’, we start mixing and matching Presidents as though they’ve all been alike.  They haven’t.  We’ve had some good ones, sure, but we’ve had more bad.  Washington established the country.  (No, not alone but still…)  Lincoln held the nation together during one of it’s most dangerous existential turning points.  I would add FDR’s birthday, January 30, as he directed the nation through a series of crises and was, more than any other, the man responsible for making America great in the first place through the New Deal…

But this country got attacked, once, and the sitting President at the time invaded the wrong country in “response.”  Twice!  How does a guy like that warrant the same “recognition” as George Washington?  Our current White House squatter is such a disgrace, not only to the Oval Office but to humanity in general, I can’t even say his name without throwing up in my mouth a little.  He’s SO disgusting, I’ve given up Bridge!  (And who is more likely to decide the holiday is REALLY all about him?)  Our “Gift From Putin” deserves the same respect as Washington?  No.  Just…no…

So I reject ‘President’s Day.’  I know this is a “fight” I’m not going to win.  Common usage will, over time, prevail over common sense.  I wish the day would be the day, again, too.  That is, Washington on the 22nd, Lincoln on the 12th.  What’s done is done, though, so I’ll be stuck with the third Monday in February.  But I’ll tell you this: in my mind, the third Monday in February will always be Washington’s Birthday…

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