Day: February 20, 2017

The Spirit of Our Institutions

When I was young, we did not celebrate the generic “Presidents Day.”  Instead, we attached the names of real men – flawed but great, each in his own ways – in celebrating first Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12th, followed shortly by Washington’s Birthday on February 22nd.  I am pretty sure – growing up in the South – that we were not given a day-off from school on the 12th, but we did generally receive the 22nd off…even if it was smack in the middle of the week. There is an interesting history to this holiday, beginning with its name and including the story of how it was moved to the third Monday in February.  According to the federal government, what we celebrate today is officially Washington’s Birthday.  But states actually decide which federal holidays to celebrate, and they can also rename them.  So in Maryland, where I live, we celebrate Presidents Day. I’m a bit old-fashioned and like my holidays well defined and not simply an occasion to get an extra-long weekend and a great …