Outside Looking In
President's Day is one of the most confusing holidays of all with many people are unsure just who is being honored on the third Monday in February. This year, the holiday was celebrated on Feb. 15.
Initially, President's Day was established in 1885 and was called Washington's Birthday. It was celebrated on Feb. 22 in recognition of the day Washington was born.
The name was changed in the late 1960s to President's Day and was still held on Feb. 22.
The holiday's date was then moved to the third Monday in February in 1971 and most people thought, and still think, it was intentionally placed between the birth dates of Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12) and Washington in order to honor these two great presidents.
But the date was actually moved to a Monday as part of Uniform Monday Holiday Act in an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation's workers. It was just a coincidence that it was now placed between the two iconic presidents.
President's Day initially (Washington's Birthday) only applied to the District of Columbia, but in 1885 it was expanded to the entire country. At the time, Washington’s Birthday joined four other nationally recognized federal bank holidays — New Year's Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. It was also the first holiday to celebrate the life on an individual American. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was signed into law in 1983, became the second.
While most people honor the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln on this day, Presidents' Day is now actually intended as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, past and present.
Some lawmakers have objected to this view, arguing that grouping Washington and Lincoln together with less successful presidents minimizes their legacies.
Congressional measures to restore Washington and Lincoln’s individual birthdays were proposed during the early 2000s, but all failed to gain much attention.
Presidents' Day never falls on the actual birthday of any American president. Two other former presidents were born in February, William Henry Harrison and Ronald Reagan, but their birthdays all come either too early or late to coincide with Presidents' Day.
When the move was made to Feb. 22, businesses jumped at the opportunity to play up the three-day weekend with President's Day sales with photos of pictures of both Washington and Lincoln adorning storefronts and newspaper advertisements.
And even in current times, the heads of Washington and Lincoln could be found on most President's Day in most print and broadcast media advertisements.
Busy short month
February may be the shortest month of all, even when Leap Year is included, but, there is a myriad of observances this month.
Black History Month and American Heart Month are two of the more familiar observances in February, but there are several more.
Among them are: Canned Food Month, Dog Training Education Month, Friendship Month, Great American Pie Month, Library Lovers Month, National Bake for Family Fun Month, National Bird Feeding Month, National Cat Health Month, National Cherry Month, National Children's Dental Health Month, National Embroidery Month, National Grapefruit Month, National Hot Breakfast Month, National Snack Food Month, National Youth Leadership Month, Pet Dental Health Month, and Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
Girls Scout cookies
It's time for the Girls Scouts to begin their annual cookie sales. The area Troop 37814 will be selling cookies at the C-Store from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20.
The cookies will be on sale until March 30. For those wishing to purchase cookies or have questions, call Julie at 507-828-7392. Customers may also order online using a credit card by visiting tinyurl.com/y53kuzae