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  • Celebrate Washington's Birthday

    The third Monday in February has come to be known—wrongly—as President’s Day. But, this is not a day to celebrate every president in our Nation’s history. The president who fails to wear a coat in cold weather should not be honored as much as the one who defeats the British’s Hessian mercenaries during a blizzard. This is the day that we celebrate the man who led America to victory in the War for Independence, who was instrumental in the creation of our Constitution, and whose character forever shaped the executive branch. We celebrate George Washington. That’s why the holiday is Washington’s Birthday—not President’s day.

    What makes George Washington a great president, worthy of such celebration, an example to all other presidents? In short, he was committed to the principles of the American Founding: Liberty, Natural Rights, Equality, Religious Liberty, Economic Opportunity, the Rule of Law, Constitutionalism, Self-government, National Independence.

    For nearly two centuries, Washington was celebrated every February 22nd. According to Al Felzenberg, Washington’s troops set aside that day during the War for Independence to honor him, especially for his surprise victories over Hessian mercenaries at Trenton and British troops at Princeton. Yearly celebrations continued during and after Washington’s presidency, but Congress did not officially recognize Washington’s birthday as a national holiday until 1870.

    Congress made Monday the official day to commemorate national figures and events with the Monday Holiday Law in 1968 (Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July are exceptions to the Monday rule). Observance of Washington’s birthday was moved from February 22 to the third Monday in February. Contrary to popular opinion, no action by Congress or order by any president has changed “Washington’s Birthday” to “President’s Day.” Section 6103 of Title 5, United States Code, still designates the legal federal holiday as “Washington’s Birthday.” It would be easy to for the president to issue an executive order that would enforce the law and remind all Americans that George Washington ought not to be lumped in with every other president: good, bad, and the ugly (yes, James Buchanan we are talking about you).

    If anyone in American history (let alone a president) deserves to have a day celebrated in his honor, it’s George Washington. Henry Lee summed up Washington the best when he said: “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in humble and enduring scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding; his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting…. Correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence and virtue always felt his fostering hand. The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues…. Such was the man for whom our nation mourns.” Such was the man for whom our nation celebrates this weekend.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Celebrate Washington's Birthday

    1. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Washington should be celebrated for just one thing above all others. Restraint. George Washington refused kingship on several occasions and finally had to beat his compatriots down when he finally demanded the right to leave the office. He gave all so that all would have freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

      It is no wonder the federal government would like to cast along dark shadow over Washington. The federal workforce, in its pursuit of control, personal wealth, and privilege on the backs of the American taxpayer detests Washington and what he stood for. The state-controlled (or drive-by) media uses Washington's name as being the source of all wrong by linking "Washington" to all the wrongs committed by the greedy and self serving federal workforce. By celebrating “Presidents” day, people like Obama and Carter can rest on the laurels of great men like Washington, Jefferson, Kennedy and Reagan. Obama knows he could never have a day for himself, but to have a “presidents” day, he will always (in his own mind) be celebrated.

      The District of Columbia has become the root of all evils in this nation and does not reflect Washington or his ideals of restraint. The "District" has become everything Washington and his colleagues warned us against. The liberals, the feds, the congress an all the recent presidents would rather have people think of “Washington” as a location of corruption and deceit, much of which they have succeeded in doing.

      It would do us well – as a nation – to remember and learn about our first president. Then return this day to celebrating the man’s' life. A man who had he not been the person he was, this nation would not have had such a great start.

      Happy Washington’s B-Day!

    2. Karla, CA says:

      We used to celebrate Lincoln's birthday on February 12, and Washington's on Feb. 22. Then, they were combined into a Monday holiday. I think those are the only Presidents who are commemorated on "President's Day."

    3. Robert Stane says:

      George Washington's Prayer for the Nation

      written at Newburg, June 8, 1783, and sent to the governors of all the states.

      Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection: that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally, that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

      Amen.

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    6. Bobbie says:

      I wish more men of today had the natural good qualities of George Washington and since along with those that comment here at Heritage, in favor. The government represents today's man as weak and pitiful because that's what more government makes them look. Now government indoctrinates at three…

      Why the heck does government get today off? We're the ones in celebration and appreciation of Thanksgiving for his being. Government takes advantage of a tax paid day off while mocking the reason they get it! What disingenuous, insincere people.

      Happy Birthday, George. Sorry for the disappointment, it was beyond our control and now our battle. Thanks for putting us o the right path to begin with…

    7. Chris, NC says:

      My favorite President,

      He is honored everyday in my house. I have a wonderful poster of him that is in my hall of fame.

      The following day from his place in the assembly he accepted the appointment in a brief speech, in which he said:

      "I beg they will accept my cordial thanks for this distinguished testimony of their approbation. But lest some unlucky event should happen, unfavorable to my reputation, I beg it may be remembered by every gentleman in the room that I this day declare with the utmost sincerity I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with. As to pay, Sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress that as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to accept this arduous employment at the expense of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to make any profit from it. I will keep an exact account of my expenses. Those I doubt not they will discharge, and that is all I desire."

      I am honored to celebrate your birthday today and grateful for your sacrifice for These United States Of America.

    8. arline hadac oak par says:

      why are we sending $150 million to egypt ? why do we still pay out pesions and all theother goodies and expences to x presidents they make millions on books ,lectures ,etc the cost 26 millions a year

    9. Hermes C LIBERTY New says:

      Certainly George Washington merit the epithet of Greatest America's President and must be honored fully. But the remembrance should not stay there. There must be people who stand by what he stood for and reclaim actively and positively a second American r-Evolution; the only way to SAVE this country, if one is to understand the depht of what is going on against it. So be it.

      Amen

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