February 15, 2010

What you may not know about Presidents Day

Posted: 05:31 PM ET

By Ed Hornick, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Retailers open their doors Monday and roll out big sales to entice customers. Government employees - along with kids - have the day off. But do you know why?

If you answered "Presidents Day," you're technically wrong.

The actual federal holiday is called "Washington's Birthday," after the nation's first president, George Washington.

According to the Gregorian calendar, adopted by England and its colonies after Washington was born, his birth date was February 22, 1732. (The Julian calendar has him born on February 11.) He is viewed as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history and was also much adored during his lifetime.

"In the earlier years, when it was celebrated, it was more than celebrating his birth, it was celebrating what we liked about Washington: He walked away from power, a very poignant lesson for people," said presidential historian Doug Wead.

It wasn't until 1885, though, that February 22 became designated a federal holiday to honor Washington.

Presidential historian C.L. Arbelbide wrote in a 2004 article in the National Archives publication "Prologue" that succeeding generations found "significant ways to periodically resurrect his memory," as evidenced by the laying of the Washington Monument's cornerstone in 1848.

"The numerous tributes continued to reaffirm George Washington's place as the original 'American Idol,' " Arbelbide wrote in the article titled "By George, IT IS Washington's Birthday!"


Filed under: CNN • White House

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MJs Tink   February 15th, 2010 5:36 pm ET

All these sales going on and I'm on the Michael Jackson blog.

Long Live The King!

DR GARY   February 15th, 2010 6:03 pm ET

I pray to God there is never an Obama Birthday. How sad that would be.

ckelly   February 15th, 2010 6:21 pm ET

Happy Presidents Day citizens of USA!!!

Joe G. (Illinois)   February 15th, 2010 6:32 pm ET

A great “Politician” is one who is remembered for what people think he did. Same goes for a great President. For instance, wasn’t George Washington one of the “Founding Fathers” who built a nation on the pretense of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?! I wonder for what Obama will be remembered so far.. A world record setting for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for practically doing..???? History books always differ a little!!!

Luis B Rosario   February 15th, 2010 6:47 pm ET

The only one that always remembered my birthday was my mother
and for obvious reasons. " When the water broke (I had been raining
at the time, but no relationship),, I had to wait in pain until your father
was able to cross the swlollen river. It was no fun waiting all that
time; you should be grateful that I still love you," she used to say.
I guess she and my father were the only ones who vividly
remembered my birthday.
George Washington did not have that problem. He is fondly
remembered 278 years later and nobody is saying that he was
a " pain in the heart." I even bought a cake at Sams to celebrate
but I dropped it, causing it to splatter all over the pavement making
it look like a stucco finish.

A. Smith, Oregon   February 15th, 2010 7:33 pm ET

What some might not know is that President George Washington along with many of the constitutional framers, past and present Presidents were MASONS. Masons were and are excommunicated from the Christian Church then and now known under the name of The Roman Catholic Church.

Christian bible thumpers have long tried to spin the utter falsehood that George Washington and other constitutional framers were supporting their Church. NO they weren't They were barred from attending any of the Church of England's Christian services, and were excommunicated by the Pope for being solid members of the Masonic Tradition and Society.

The next time some bible thumper attempts to respin history and lays that ole chestnut on you while shaking the book of Garfield the Cat in the air, SET THEM STRAIGHT! Many of the nations founders and framers believed in GOD, they did not endorse, support nor attend Christian Churches. In regards to the Catholic Churches, they were permanently banned from entering as well as attending any of them.

Luis B Rosario   February 15th, 2010 8:18 pm ET

I remember when I was in elementary school , in Puerto Rico
that the teachers taught us to sing praise to George Washiongton,
the president of the United States, not only because he was brave man
but because even as a kid he was an honest person. When he cut
down the cherry tree, he admited it to his father.
"Yo nunca digo una mentira, quiero imitar a Jorge Washington."
We are not allowed to sing patriotic songs or pray in school, anymore,
because we are afraid that we may violate the constitutional rights of
the few who oppose these practices. I do not think that our "Founding
Fathers" had in that in mind when they wrote the Constitution."
No wonder that the classroom has been taken over by pot smoking
thugs and gangs that attempt to terrorize the masses. It is happening
now in Chicago, Texas, some parts of Florida and other jurisdictions.
It should be time to recognize that whether you are a Mason, a
Catholic, a Hebrew, or a Muslim, there are prayers to God that are
non-denominational. Let's everybody get together and pray tlo God
for our nation that we live in peace, tranquility and prosperity. Amen.

luckybee   February 16th, 2010 12:24 am ET

When George Washington was president, nearly evrybody were presbiterians. That has change now , nearly evry politicians in Washingtons are Katholieks.I bet God will not like that very much.

ckelly   February 16th, 2010 2:48 am ET

@ A smith, while I appreciate your interpretation of the politics of the Mason's and George Washington and his impartiality-make no mistake-the mason's have their own belief in the power of ritual (magic), money (magic) and science/ technology(-ultimate magic). Do not imply the modern ethics of today for good and bad, are the truth about the masonic vision. Look at the world-religion has always played a role and is silently disguised in ALL politics today. Unfortunately, we can only discuss or critize certain elements of religion or magic without criticism .

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   February 16th, 2010 8:52 pm ET

Is this for real.

luckybee   February 17th, 2010 1:10 am ET

The mason was a katholiek idea; invented bij de Jesuits.Now it is a coallision of the katholiek church with the islam.I don't think God will let it last forever in the USA.It is a doomed combination, against the foundation ofthe USA.

Luis B Rosario   February 17th, 2010 1:33 am ET

A. Smith, Oregon
I meet a lot Masons every month a the local Masonic Center.
None of them make negative comments about other religions.
They know that I'm Catholic but I don't go there to discuss
religion. We have our general meeting there, have a couple
of drinks with them, salute the flag, say the pledge and we
never ever had any controversies, or conflicts of interest. They
are great people and like all of us there is always one that
don't agree but refrains from making our stay a political, or
religious combat zone. Let's drink to all religions, politcal
affiliations and all races that hunger for unity and love. " We
are the world."

Luis B Rosario   February 17th, 2010 3:16 am ET

Good points. But not everybody is bad, all the time. I have good
friends all over. (Thank God). Some Masons come to our dances
in our community. It all depends how seriously you take it.

luckybee   February 17th, 2010 8:34 am ET

My problem is that de Jesuits want to take the power back from the Calvinists; and it looks like they are succesful in theyr efforts.In the Nederlands as wel as in the USA.In both country's the Katholiek church has become the most powerfull church that we know.It worry's me because the Katholiek Church have a different agenda as our church; Look what hapened in all country's that is reign by the Katholieks.

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