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HomeBusiness & CommunityNotes from the Museums: February Presidents

Notes from the Museums: February Presidents

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Thinking back to the days when February 12 and February 22 were etched into students’ minds as special days, who would have thought there would be a need for Presidents’ Day? George Washington’s birthday was first celebrated as a national holiday in the 1880s. While Lincoln’s birthday was never expressly designated as a separate national holiday, it was commonly acknowledged.

It was 1968 when Congress enacted the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, and Washington’s birthday became the third Monday in February. Congress debated whether to name the holiday President’s Day to include Lincoln, but Congress declined to change the name. It is said that advertisers actually started using the term to promote sales. Imagine that!

Before computer templates came on the scene, teachers may have used a book like the one found at the Countryman One Room Schoolhouse to draw patriotic symbols on the blackboard to remind students that Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12 and George Washington was born on February 22.

The Museums Schedules!
The May-Stringer tours on Wednesday – Saturday from 11am – 3pm – 352-799-0129
The 1885 Depot tours on Friday & Saturday from noon – 3pm – 352-799-4766
The Countryman One Room Schoolhouse tours on Thursday – Saturday from noon – 3pm – 352-515-3054

[Credit: Mary Sheldon]
[Credit: Mary Sheldon]

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