Today is a very special day! I say that not because I got a paid holiday today (even though it’s been lovely.) It’s not that it’s my younger sister, Caroline’s 50th birthday (even though it is). It’s actually a special day because it’s President’s Day! This holiday never falls on an actual President’s birthday. Four presidents have been born in February – Washington, Harrison, Lincoln, and Reagan – but all of their birthdays come either too early or too late to coincide with the third Monday of the month holiday. In 1879, Rutherford B. Hayes signed a law adding Washington’s Birthday, February 22, as a federal bank holiday, joining Christmas Day, the Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving. It was the first holiday set aside to celebrate the life of an individual. Over 90 years later, Richard Nixon signed an Executive Order which took effect in 1971 changing the official holiday from the 22nd of the month to the third Monday which puts it between Lincoln’s February 12th birthday and Washington’s February 22nd birthday. It is now seen as a day to recognize the lives and achievements of all American Presidents.
While I might not always agree with the policies and practices of our chief executives, I do respect the office of the presidency. It is an awesome responsibility. May God continue to bless America. Courtney