Today is Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday but in only eight states, is it a state holiday, among them Kentucky, where he was born and Illinois where the state’s nickname is the Land of Lincoln. It used to be a state holiday in California, but 10 years ago, it became just a holiday for the state’s courts.
Next Monday, President’s Day, is the day now on which that California and the huge majority of other states officially celebrate Lincoln and all the presidents.
Back in 1971, Congress passed what was called the Uniform Monday Holiday Ac t and the official days to celebrate President Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 th and President George Washington’s birthday on February 22 nd began to disappear. And now we honor all the presidents on President’s Day.
But in putting all the presidents together and getting rid of Lincoln’s and Washington’s own birthdays as holidays…we’ve lost something. We’ve lost what we used to have and that’s a special appreciation and a special knowledge of two very special presidents.
Abraham Lincoln guided his nation through its worst crisis, the Civil War.
George Washington guided his nation through its painful beginning, after the Revolutionary War.
And what still sets Lincoln and Washington apart from all the other presidents is their eloquence in speech, their gifts of leadership and their unique ability to give the nation hope when it most needed it. With what we see from our political leaders in Washington today, they should spend their Presidents Day booking up on our two best presidents in history.
(Photo credit Getty Images) Members of an honor guard replace a protective chain after a wreath laying ceremony to celebrate the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall on February 12, 2019 in Washington, DC.