Tuesday, February 23, 2016
You just had a school holiday! It was called Presidents Day. Did you know that it was originally celebrated every February 22. That was George Washington's Birthday. The observance began in 1800, the year after President Washington died. It was because he was so important to our country and everybody wanted to honor him. Years later, Congress decided it would be nice if workers had more three-day weekends so they moved several national holidays to Mondays. George Washington's Day was one of them. Since it wasn't on his birthday anymore, they changed the name to Presidents Day.
Borglum chose four Presidents -- George Washington, because he fought for American independence and was our first president; Thomas Jefferson, because he wrote the Declaration of Independence and he expanded American territory through the Louisiana Purchase; Abraham Lincoln, because he freed the slaves and saved the Union and Theodore Roosevelt, because of his leadership in business and conservation and in building the Panama Canal. President Roosevelt is my favorite because Teddy bears are named after him!