Home > history, holidays > Happy (Almost) Birthday, George

Happy (Almost) Birthday, George

Monday, February 15, 2010, 17:14 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

George Washington at Dorchester Heights - click to view largerHappy Washington’s Birthday (Observed). Here in the United States, today is the federal holiday that, until 1968, was celebrated on February 22, the actual date on which George Washington was born way back in 1732.

My all-time favorite portrait of Gen. Washington (I learned from a docent at Mount Vernon that the father of our country preferred to be addressed by his military title rather than as “President”) is one by Gilbert Stuart entitled “George Washington at Dorchester Heights,” a replica of which hangs in Mechanics Hall in Worcester. It depicts Washington beside a horse. Specifically, the backside of a horse, a.k.a. a horse’s ass. I have often wondered if this particular depiction might reflect Washington’s view of having to work with Congress. Blogger Barry Martin thinks it may have been Stuart’s equally unflattering commentary on Washington’s lack of political virility. We may never know for sure.

But back to today. It is not Presidents Day. It also isn’t President’s Day or Presidents’ Day. It is not a holiday created by combining Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12). It is not a holiday to memorialize all dead Presidents or to honor all Presidents, living and dead. In fact, there is no federal holiday with the word “President” anywhere in it.

It is, by federal statute, Washington’s Birthday. So can we please stop calling it something else?

Thank you. Have a nice (Washington’s Birth)day.

Categories: history, holidays
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s