Monday, February 15, 2010
Today is a holiday for a lot of folks. But us oldsters can remember when there was more than one holiday to commemorate presidents. We had Lincoln's birthday and Washington's birthday as separate holidays. Back in 1971 (another thing I blame Nixon for), the federal government decided to combine them into one holiday to honor all presidents. In other words, to celebrate Benjamin Harrison and Calvin Coolidge (and even Nixon himself) to the same degree that we honor Washington and Lincoln.
You may consider this the grumblings of a grouchy old man, but not all presidents are equal. Damn few of them deserve to have their birthday celebrated. Most were mediocre, some were actually terrible, and a very few achieved greatness.
Example: How many of you recognize the president pictured above?
Added: there's a fun presidents' day quiz here; it's all modern presidents. I got all 10.