And yes, today’s federal holiday is still, and always has been, declared in federal law, as Washington’s Birthday, not any so-called amorphous “President’s Day” requiring celebrations of 44 Presidential oath takers:
The following are legal public holidays under federal statute 5 USC 6103:
New Year’s Day, January 1.
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., the third Monday in January.
Washington’s Birthday, the third Monday in February.
Memorial Day, the last Monday in May.
Independence Day, July 4.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September.
Columbus Day, the second Monday in October.
Veterans Day, November 11.
Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November.
Christmas Day, December 25.
This is the law.
So why do most calendars and so many people refer to this day as “Presidents Day“?
In 1968, Congress passed the Monday Holidays Act, which moved the official observance of Washington’s birthday from Feb. 22 to the third Monday in February. Some Democrats had wanted to change the name of the holiday as well, to Presidents’ Day, in honor of both Lincoln and Washington, but that proposal was rejected by Congress, and the holiday remained officially Washington’s Birthday.
Nevertheless, there was a popular misconception (perpetuated by Democrats, calendar companies and used car dealers) that the day had been officially renamed.
Liberal Democrats have been trashing American history as a tragedy and the Founding Fathers as mere slave owners for the past 40 years.
General George Washington watched thousands fall on the battlefield so that we could ordain and establish self government based on the rule of law as opposed to the tyrannies of the rule of men, whether they be Kings, Despots or Judicial Oligarchs. He nearly lost his life many times leading Revolutionary War battles. As our first President he astounded the world by peacefully giving up power to his successor.
Yet, all the “reformers” care to recall is that he was a slaveowner. Yes, he was a slaveowner, but he fathered a nation that put slavery on the path to destruction and which has freed more of humanity from tyranny than in all of human history. Ironically, many of the so-called reformers that would have us celebrate James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon, also conveniently looked the other way when evaluating the greatest enslavers and murderers of humanity in the Soviet Union and Red China.
The true reformer was the man whose birth we celebrate today. The man who admitted chopping down a cherry tree and went on to chop down the barriers to Liberty so that men could be truly free.
Happy Birthday President Washington!
[Originally published at Redstate.com in 2009.]