By Martha B

When I was a young child, February was the month in which we had two days off from school: February 12 in celebration of Lincoln’s birthday, and February 22, for Washington’s birthday.

Since then, someone must have figured out that two days off school in the same month to honor two American Presidents was one day too much. In fact, if students got a day off for each American President, school age kids would by now be knocking 46 days of the academic calendar! This may sound like heaven to a nine-year-old but not so ideal for their parents and teachers.

Therefore, in 1971, the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act” was passed, designed to provide extended three-day weekends for workers. This legislation combined Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays giving birth instead to “Presidents’ Day,” a Federal Holiday now celebrated annually on the third Monday in February.

The State of Michigan observes this holiday (although I learned that thirteen US states do not!) Since we will not be able to mail a letter, trade stocks, nor visit a bank’s lobby on Monday, February 15, what can we do to honor Presidents’ Day? Spend some Washington dollars at the store of our choice? Make a Grant to our favorite charity? Hoover our living room carpets? Take a walk on Washington, Monroe, Madison Streets? Plant a Bush? Play with Lincoln Logs? It seems Presidents’ names are all around us!

Here is a website the provides a variety of activities for school age children:

It is important to remind ourselves that days off are times to rejuvenate, think optimistic thoughts, and gather our energy for what lies ahead. This year, more than ever, we are optimistic for a spring like none other. If winter comes, can spring be far behind?