Junk Presidents Day, Restore Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthdays as National Holidays

George Washington offers Abraham Lincoln a laurel and hearty welcome to Heaven. 1865. Source: Missouri History Museum.

Happy Millard Fillmore Day!

My fellow fans of presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln should share my distaste for today’s national holiday, this afternoon’s post-impeachment-trial quietude notwithstanding. 

America once honored the Father of Our Country and The Man Who Saved the Union with separate national holidays. And then, in November 1983, President Ronald Wilson Reagan signed legislation that made Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. This was a good thing. 

President Ronald Reagan signs the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday into law, November 2, 1983. Source: Official White House photo.

To “pay” for this, however, the federal government then collapsed the separate Washington and Lincoln national holidays (which meant something) and blended them into Presidents Day (which means nothing). America now salutes Washington and Lincoln, along with Rutherford B. Hayes, James Buchanan, Warren Harding, and everyone else who happened to plant his rear end behind the desk in the Oval Office.

Yawn.

America should junk Presidents Day and bring back Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays as national holidays. If that means we get another three-day weekend, so what? Would that kill us? An extra Monday off, and three days away from work, might increase overall productivity more than it reduces actual production. And even if it didn’t, an exhausted nation deserves no less.

Maddeningly, Cancelistas yanked down statues of these two great leaders in last spring and summer’s orgy of George-Floyd-related cultural destruction. Just days ago, San Francisco’s School Board spent zero time figuring out how to get children back in classrooms. However, they devoted precious time to prying Lincoln’s name off of a government school, because of his alleged involvement in the “mass hanging” of 38 captured American Indian warriors (most of whose death sentences he commuted), never mind his Earth-shatteringly positive treatment of slaves. Washington’s name became mud, due to his ownership of slaves, never mind the fact that he freed them in his will — a pretty woke thing to do in the late 18th Century. 

The San Frandinistas even knocked the non-slave-owning Paul Revere’s name off of an elementary school. They claimed that he commanded a mission “directly connected to the colonization of the Penobscot” Indians. “On the contrary,” Forbes Senior Contributor Evan Gerstmann argued January 27, “the Penobscot Expedition was a disastrously failed military assault on a British Fort in what is now Maine.”

Oops!

It’s time to junk Presidents Day and restore Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday as holidays. This would help reinstate some of the history that too many folks are busy sandblasting from America’s collective memory.

Until then, please enjoy this collection of photographs of Abraham Lincoln. Keep your eyes peeled for a picture of Honest Abe with 1980s-style spiky hair. It looks Photoshopped, but let’s assume otherwise.


Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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