President's Day is not the perfect holiday. The special day has cheated young school children, slighted our First President and made me honor people I don't want to honor.
In my childhood, we got both Lincoln's birthday (February 12) and George Washington's birthday (February 22) off from school. For each of these President's we would have fun projects like make a stove pipe hat, cut Lincoln's and Washington's profiles out of construction paper or promise never to chop down Cherry Trees. The two Presidents were deservedly revered for their accomplishments in building this great nation.
Now some politicians were insisting that we had to honor all the President's or suddenly we would have six or eight holidays a year for other Presidents. First of all, what is wrong with that? We don't have enough holidays anyway! Second, it is like going to Mount Rushmore and chiseling off all the faces since there isn't any room for more.
Now it doesn't matter that neither of the two President's birthday might not actually fall on the official holiday. This year the holiday falls on February 18. In actuality we are celebrating the births of Dr. Dre, Vanna White, Molly Ringwald, Yoko Ono or Jillian Michaels. Really, what have they done to have an entire nation celebrate their birthdays? Poor George Washington wasn't born until this coming Friday.
Besides do we really want to celebrate all the Presidents?
Can't see me getting excited enough to raise a glass of wine to good ole James Buchanan, Warren Harding or Calvin Coolidge? Does poor old William Henry Harrison deserve to be honored since he died after only one month in office because he didn't have the sense to come in out of the rain? Millard Filmore (photograph above)? Really? The man signed the "Fugitive Slave Act" to track down runaway slaves.
So now we are treated to actors dressed as our beloved Washington and Lincoln selling used cars or sofas on sale for $599! There are no stories about Valley Forge or learning to read by the fireplace in a log cabin. Warren Harding equals George Washington.
As we say back home, "This just ain't right".