President’s Day

Back in World War II, the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were celebrated separately…

george-washington-birthday

lincoln4

presidents-day

Old President's Day banner

Old President’s Day banner

Rockwell celebration

Rockwell celebration

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The Hero

The Hero

Taps

Taps

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 18, 2013, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. I am really disappointed that they quit celebrating Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays separately. We celebrated them separately when I was growing up. As a teacher I felt that it was a lost teaching opportunity. It was fun to focus on each man’s life and times. I am sorry than our children don’t know much about our American Heritage. Presidents’ Day is now a time to get a good buy on a mattress. Shame on us!

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  2. In 50’s Florida Robt E Lee and Ol’ Jeff Davis were commemorated too.

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  3. When I went to a one-room school we always had pictures of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln above the chalkboard with the seal of Ohio in the center. Thanks for stirring up some pleasant memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m going to date myself, but I remember when we celebrated George Washington’s birthday and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday separately. Making it Presidents’ Day has made it a shopping holiday and diminished it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, I toyed with the idea of just ignoring the holiday and put in a regular post. The sign of respect has been brushed aside for convenience. Thanks for coming by, Nike (Is the snow gone yet?).

      Liked by 2 people

  5. When I was in young, I attended a one-room school and we had two photos on the front wall. One of Washington, and one of Lincoln. The Washington photo was the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait and seemed to me at the time to show a stern man, probably his wooden teeth hurt. Lincoln on the other hand seemed to be approachable, the kindly uncle you ask questions of and were always glad to see. Both saved America in different ways and both should be honored separately. To lump them with so many unworthy men who barely were able to do their jobs as president, seems somehow not respectful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many people felt that same way as you when the holidays were first moved around to land on Mondays, but the protests went unheeded and the subject eventually dropped. People are so accustom to having 3-day weekends now, they don’t think to protest. Thanks for telling us your feelings on the matter.

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  6. Oops…forgot to mention Pierre’s videos! Pierre, thanks for sharing them!

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  7. Although I was born and raised in Massachusetts, my father and the 4 generations before him were all from Alabama. It’s too long of a story to tell you why I never knew my great aunt until 2003, but when I did find her, I had a chance to meet with her at her home in Evergreen. She was 87 at the time but had done years of genealogical work by the time we got together. After comparing notes, I made the mistake of mentioning that we were distantly related to Abraham Lincoln through our Hanks lines. She politely said, “Oh” and changed the subject! I figured it out in about 0.001 seconds….

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  8. When I was in second grade school (this was before World War II), one year in February our principal at Lincoln School asked us, as our classes were lined up in the hallway waiting to return to our rooms after recess, why one of the two president’s birthdays wasn’t celebrated in parts of the USA. I was shocked to hear that, because both Washington and Lincoln were such marvelous Presidents. I couldn’t imagine that anyone wouldn’t be delighted to honor both of them. “Think about it,” she said. “You’ll figure it out.”

    I didn’t figure it out, and it was something I thought about a lot over the years. My own fierce loyalty to the memories of what GREAT MEN they were, and yes, I did think of them in Capitalized letters!, colored how I thought of them. I grew up way up north in the state of Washington, but I had no idea that had anything to do with my perception.

    We didn’t have the internet then, with all the nooks and crannies we could go to to get information, so I couldn’t just ask why one of our presidents was admired less than another.
    Eventually someone decided we’d just have a “Presidents’ Day” to mark the observation of the two birthdays, saying it made more sense to observe a holiday on a Monday or Friday, making it a three-day weekend for everyone. But that happened years later, after my own children had graduated from high school.

    It was a long time before it finally dawned on me why Abraham Lincoln’s birthday wasn’t celebrated with joy in all the states. Probably wasn’t a holiday at all in southern states, though I really think it should be. Every once in a while we still hear of some people down south talking about seceding from the Union.

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  9. I remember when the birthdays were celebrated separately. Hope that doesn’t make me old! 🙂

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  10. Great post. Thanks for visiting my blog and the likes. I will surely visit yours again as I find them very interesting. All the best.

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  11. Thanks for the “like.” You’re welcome back to “Swords, Specters,& Stuff” anytime.

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  12. They were celebrated separately long after 1945! I remember celebrating them both all through my school years. Not every president deserves to be honored on the same day as the others. Just sayin’!

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  13. Thank you for your visit … History kept alive !!! thank you

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  14. Presidents in the USA have tried to improve the lot of the citizens,Our President just builds theme parks for himself and spends our tax money.He has a birthday every day. 🙂

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    • If you delve more into history (that school never bothered to mention) you will probably discover that most of our presidents carried on with their OWN agenda, not ours. Sad but true.

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  15. I was really really really little, but I remember (barely because I was so very very young) getting both Washington and Lincoln’s birthday’s off from school. 😉

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  16. A very nice Tribute — and thank you, Pierre, for the videos. I especially liked the first one – It helped clarify my understanding of the area my Uncle Dave was in, in 1945.

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  17. Pierre, thank you for adding the videos. I had seen the first one before and as a teacher, I wish more interviews of vets would be done by the grandchildren. Not only is it a great service to the vet but it gives the future generations a chance to live history through the eyes of someone who was there.

    Gpox, I remember when the two holidays were separated and somehow felt cheated of a day off when they were combined. It used to be extra emphasis was put on each one’s accomplishments, now it is pretty generic. Makes me wonder what the kids today will be learning about our forefathers.

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    • Isn’t Pierre great for helping me out with the videos!! I have a feeling the content will be even more skimmed over than it was with us. They probably assume that today’s kids will look it up if they’re interested.

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  18. Was this man part of the same division?

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    • Pierre, you’re fantastic!! Yes, this man was the same division. I did not see mention of which regiment (but, it doesn’t matter) This is great. I’ll have to bring everyone’s attention to this and I printed out the directions you sent me.

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  19. A really nice post for Presidents’ Day.
    Lillian
    lillianscupboard.wordpress.com

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  20. When did the birthdays become combined in to one celebration?

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  21. I like the American Idol caricature.

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