A PATRIOT SPEAKS OUT ABOUT PRESIDENTS’ DAY
I absolutely will not be celebrating Donald Trump’s birthday on so-called Presidents’ Day, the third Monday in February, or any other day, by Act of Congress, or Executive Order, so help them God.
If this be treason, let the proper authorities, or even improper authorities, make the most of it.
I came to this conclusion while spending the past weekend brooding about the meaning of what originally was always known as “Washington’s Birthday,” a most sacred day in the canon of calendar patriotism, along with such causes of national celebration as Super Bowl Sunday and Oscar Night. So sad, in the words of our Peerless Leader.
There is much confusion about whose birthday we are actually celebrating on so-called Presidents’ Day (or is it President’s Day?)
As a historian and as George Washington’s only living coauthor (see George Washington’s Expense Account by Gen. George Washington and Marvin Kitman, PFC, Ret.) I think it’s an outrage the way we are now forced to celebrate Gen. Washington’s Birthday on the third Monday of February, instead of his original natal day (February 22).
An artifice concocted by the Congress back in the days (1968) when Congress did things before the invention of the Do-Nothing Congress, which judging by what it does today (a tax reform for the middle class that benefits only the rich) is better advised to do nothing—Presidents’ Day was meant by legislators to celebrate the birthdays of all our chief executives.
Not as bad as chopping down the Washington Monument, perhaps, but parity is a slap in the face of our founding father, who should be celebrating a happy 288th birthday.1
The downgrading of the founding father to just another POTUS is especially scandalous, as we seem to be marking on a curve in the progression of our presidents. I mean, to go from a Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison to a Trump should be cause for alarm.
Washington was first in war, first in peace, and first in expense account writing, worthy of a singular day of veneration.
Trump, who by definition is also being celebrated this weekend, will be remembered as first in lying, first in groping, first in paying off strippers he claimed not to even know, first in emoluments and profiting while in office, first in nepotism, and first in being a friend of the Russians.
I worry about the impact of all of this confusion on history-challenged millennials.
When I was growing up, at least I knew Washington was a white sale, a chance to buy a used car at a bargain price. It was better than the separate celebration of Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12) that meant having to listen to your teacher reading selections of Lincoln ‘s boring writings.
By no means am I one of those killjoy Calvinists against three-day weekends as a matter of principle because they may contribute to slothfulness at the job. The trouble with society today, au contraire, is there are not enough three-day weekends and too many five-day weeks. Three-day weekends make life bearable.
I, for one, wouldn’t mind celebrating Herbert Hoover’s Birthday (August 10). Although the Great Engineer and humanitarian was thrown out of office in 1932, blamed for the Great Depression of 1929, actually caused by that other Republican businessman, Warren Gamaliel Harding, Hoover continued his relief work in Europe aiding refugees from World War I. He wasn’t like some presidents happy to retire to humble lodgings in the Waldorf Towers.
I’d even be willing to celebrate Republican Calvin Coolidge’s birthday with a three-day weekend.2 Our thirtieth president, Silent Cal understood what it was all about when he first said, “When more and more people are unable to find work, unemployment results.”
Some of us wouldn’t mind a three-day weekend celebrating Millard Fillmore’s birthday (January 7), the thirteenth president famous for the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act and as the candidate of the Know Nothing Party, spiritual forefather of today’s Republican Party.
Furthermore, I’d support a new Congressional resolution declaring all Presidents’ birthdays should be celebrated by a three day-weekend with the following exceptions:
James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Donald Trump.
Like it or not, I won’t be surprised that before President Four More Years is a blip in history, by June 14, 2021 we will be standing up and saluting a huge military parade down Constitution Avenue, honoring the philanderer-in-chief’s birthday with a three-day weekend
Until then, a Happy 288th Birthday to you, Mister First President
Marvin Kitman, Fifth Columnist
Feb. 17, 2020
1 He was born on February 11, Old Style, Julian calendar. Pope Gregory added eleven days to all Old Style dates to correct an early astronomical error. Hence we find the date of Washington’s birth put with an ambiguous double numeral, as February 11, 1731/2. What would he think of the current style of celebrating his birthday on the third Monday of every February? Knowing my coauthor, he would celebrate all three days. He was a party animal.
2 Since Silent Cal was the only president born on July 4th we should give him a bye and celebrate on July 11–13.