Monday, February 15, 2016

President's Day Pouting

"For example, to celebrate Bill Clinton' Presidency, one might read 'Fifty Shades of Gray'"

When I was a young lad, February was a good month in school. Back in the day, we would celebrate Washington's birthday on the 22nd, and Lincoln's birthday on the 12th. I always leaned something new about these two icons of American history during that month. Both of them deserved to be honored in February. It was all good. Then the government got their hands on February and really screwed it up.

For some reason, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was drafted and pushed by a Republican Senator from Illinois named Robert McClory. The act was was signed into law in 1968 and took effect in 1971. The purpose of the law was to give American workers more time off and cut down on absenteeism. By Executive Order, President Nixon also decided in 1971 to take these two famous Americans and lump them in with all the other presidents. It would now be called President's Day. And the day was moved to the third Monday in February. So in 1971, it became another three-day weekend. Big whoop. First off, unless you are a government worker or a banker, your chances of getting this day off were slim to none. PLUS (and this is a big one), many of us don't want to celebrate ALL the Presidents! Some yes, but some others were bad to terrible.

For example, to celebrate Bill Clinton' Presidency, one might read Fifty Shades of Gray. For Richard Nixon, one might want to go see Breaking and Entering. For Jimmy Carter, of course there is the movie Ransom. And for the current guy, we could all just cuddle up and read Rules for Radicals.

By the way, did some of you younger folks know that the government also tried to make Veteran's Day a three-day weekend? That was part of the same act. Well, that went over like a gas pain in church with many veterans groups. So much of a fuss was raised, that the government reversed itself in 1980 and restored Veteran's Day to the 11th of November.

As a FYI, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act also moved Memorial Day from the 31st of May to the fourth Monday in May. My grandmother's birthday was on the 31st of May. She loved the fact she could share her birthday with such a noble holiday. I don't think she ever forgave the government for moving "her" day!

So excuse me if I pout today. Presidents who are worth remembering are thought off throughout the year. Ones who are worth forgetting, are. If you are off today - enjoy the winter weather. If you are not off (like I never was when I worked), it is just another day.   

No comments:

Post a Comment