American Elephants


Today is Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday by The Elephant's Child

Today is  “President’s Day.” As a long time crank, I disapprove of moving days of remembrance to Mondays to make a  3-day weekend. I would prefer that we stuck with Lincoln’s Birthday, and when we get there, to Washington’s Birthday on the 22nd.

Both men deserve special honor. In elementary school, kids used to make log cabins with construction paper or crayon, and Washington got axes and cherry trees. Classrooms had portraits of the two men, and an American flag standing in the corner for the flag salute. I assume I am badly dating myself, but I’m not sure just when these formalities ended.

On Valentine’s Day we had a big decorated box in which to put the valentines for our classmates. The drugstore sold sheets of punch-out valentines in numbers suited to average class size. It was considered tacky not to be completely equal in favoring everyone with a card — even the ones you hated. I don’t think I have seen a picture of a classroom lately that has pictures of either president. I wonder if they still do Valentine’s Day?

Most kids have probably never seen a log cabin, and are unfamiliar with a split rail fence.  The tale about cherry tree and never told a lie is undoubtedly specious, and I don’t remember actually learning much of anything about either man.

Even little kids should learn something about history, but most colleges are dropping any Western Civilization or  American history requirement. The protests we hear on our campuses display a vast ignorance of U.S. History, and world history as well. Troubling.

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2 Comments so far
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The moving holidays to Monday was a 1968 congressional act. I’m from Illinois and my public schools had Lincoln’s birthday off but not Washington. When I moved to Washington State in 1984, that flipped. Later in the 80’s the Presidents’ Day Holiday became federal on 3rd Monday in February.
I personally oppose the office of the presidency being a holiday. Honoring great men like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln is a hell yes! But some President’s like Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan who preceded Lincoln pre Civil war were horrible and should be ridiculed as frauds.

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Comment by Douglas Allen

I agree. Presidents are merely ordinary men (so far, sorry Hillary) with all the faults of the human species. some far worse than others. I won’t speculate on what gives them the ambition to run in the first place, but once they have it, it never goes away. See Stassen, and I’m afraid, Hillary. Our current Governor Jay Inslee seems to have caught the bug, and he’s not, to my mind, even a decent governor.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child




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