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So-called Presidents’ Day is NOT…It’s George Washington’s – Our Greatest American’s – Birthday!

I do not like the term “Presidents’ Day” but I at least thought the Federal holiday was called that.

When I was a kid, there were two holidays in February:  Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12 and George Washington’s Birthday on February 22.  It did not matter what day in the week it is (except for the Friday off if the day fell on Saturday and Monday off when the day falls on Sunday rule); those were bona fide holidays.  But there never was a Federal holiday for Lincoln’s Birthday (YAY!) it was just a school holiday.  Several states do have a paid day off for Lincoln’s Birthday.

But the movement to make holidays a certain Monday in a certain month led the Congress to take the original Washington’s Birthday holiday from February 22, to the third Monday in February.

The Federal holiday is called (see 5 US Code Section 6103):

“…Washington’s Birthday, the third Monday in February…”

And the Virginia day is called (Va. Code Section 2:2-3300):

The third Monday in February — George Washington Day to honor George Washington (1732-1799), the first President of the United States.

My appreciation for the first President – George Washington was our Greatest American.  he was a great general, leader of men – especially the Continental armies during the Revolution – and a great President.  But it was the act in 1783 when George Washington stopped a military coup among his troops over pay and then resigned his command.  George III is reported to have said:

Give the last word to Washington’s great adversary, King George III. The king asked his American painter, Benjamin West, what Washington would do after winning independence. West replied, “They say he will return to his farm.”

“If he does that,” the incredulous monarch said, “he will be the greatest man in the world.”

That is why George Washington is our greatest American.  (George III is wrong about one aspect of this quote – depending on how you read it.  The greatest man in the world ever is Jesus Christ Our Saviour and Lord.  Here’s how to know Him.)

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

2 Responses to “So-called Presidents’ Day is NOT…It’s George Washington’s – Our Greatest American’s – Birthday!”

  1. Paul Blumstein says:

    Since we celebrate it every year, it should be called Precedent’s Day 🙂

  2. mr green jeans

    Thank you Sandy for reminding us of the truth about our first and greatest president in our history. GWs faith in God may be a problem today since America is “educated” citizenry. To restore George Washington’s birthday would be a worth task for our general assembly. . Then our commonwealth would remember and honor this most humble American leader in the formative days of the Republic. 95% of the public school children nothing of depth about his character. The public schools could take the day to refresh us with accurate inspiring history. In other words, transmit the American History of Actions to remind us of who WE are would be a worthy accomplishment.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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