Presidents Day 2017

Daily News Article   —   Posted on February 17, 2017

NOTE: The Daily News Article resumes Tuesday, February 21.

George Washington is known as the Father of Our Country; Abraham Lincoln is known as The Great Emancipator.

Take some time to read the following and visit the websites:


  • George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. Americans celebrated Washington’s Birthday long before Congress declared it a federal holiday.
  • The centennial of his birth prompted festivities nationally and Congress established a Joint Committee to arrange for the occasion.
  • At the recommendation of the Committee, chaired by Henry Clay of the Senate and Philemon Thomas of the House, Congress adjourned on February 22, 1832 out of respect for Washington’s memory and in commemoration of his birth.
  • In 1862, prompted by a memorial from the mayor and other citizens of Philadelphia, the House and Senate commemorated the 130th Anniversary of Washington’s birth by reading aloud his Farewell Address.
  • In a special joint session held in the House Chamber, the House and Senate, along with several cabinet officials, Justices of the Supreme Court and high-ranking officers of the Army and Navy, gathered to listen to the Secretary of State read the address aloud.
  • Eventually, the reading of George Washington’s Farewell Address became an annual event for the Senate, a tradition that is still observed to this day.
  • Washington’s Birthday, however, did not become a legal holiday until January 31, 1879 when Congress added February 22nd to the list of holidays to be observed by federal employees in the District of Columbia.
  • In 1971, Congress switched Washington’s Birthday holiday from his birthdate, Feb. 22, to the third Monday in February and it evolved into being called “Presidents Day.” The day now celebrates both Washington’s birthday and President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, which is Feb. 12.
  • Read Washington’s Farewell Address at

For more information on George Washington, go to
Read The Bulletproof George Washington detailing God’s protection of George Washington.

(George Washington’s tomb is at Mt. Vernon. Read/watch Famous Visits to Washington’s Tomb.)


Abraham Lincoln was born on Feb. 12, 1809.  Shot by John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln died at 7:22 a.m. on April 15, 1865.  Lincoln’s birthday is marked by traditional wreath-laying ceremonies at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville, Kentucky, and at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The latter has been the site of a ceremony ever since the Memorial was dedicated in 1922. A wreath is laid on behalf of the President of the United States, a custom also carried out at the grave sites of all deceased U.S. presidents on their birthdays.   Lincoln’s tomb is in Springfield, Illinois. (official website:



At the age of 15 George Washington copied the 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation.”  These maxims were so fully lived out in George Washington’s life that historians have regarded them as important influences in forming his character.  Listed below are several of the maxims followed by George Washington.

How many do you follow?

#6 - Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.

#18 - Read no Letters, Books, or Papers in Company but when there is a Necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave: come not near the Books or Writings of Another so as to read them unless desired or give your opinion of them unask'd also look not nigh when another is writing a Letter.

#23 - When you see a Crime punished, you may be inwardly Pleased; but always shew Pity to the Suffering Offender.

#38 - In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physicion if you be not Knowing therein.

#40 - Strive not with your Superiers in argument, but always Submit your Judgment to others with Modesty.

#53 - Run not in the Streets, neither go too slowly nor with Mouth open go not Shaking yr Arms kick not the earth with yr feet, go not upon the Toes, nor in a Dancing fashion.

#56 - Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad Company.

#71 - Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of Others and ask not how they came. What you may Speak in Secret to your Friend deliver not before others.

#97 - Put not another bit into your Mouth til the former be Swallowed let not your Morsels be too big for the Gowls.

#109 - Let your Recreations be Manfull not Sinfull.

For the complete list of maxims, go to the Colonial Williamsburg website at:

CHALLENGE: Choose 5-10 maxims from the link above. Make a short video illustrating your choices. Consider submitting your video for possible posting on (see "Resources" below for a video done by a group of University of Virginia students several years ago)



CHALLENGE:  How many times have you read through the entire Constitution?  Read through the U.S. Constitution every day for a week.  For the full text, go to the U.S. Archives:


ABOUT LINCOLN’S GETTYSBURG ADDRESS (NOV. 19, 1863): (read Lincoln’s speech at:

–Read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address at