Monday, February 16, 2009

Presidents’ Day

It seems ironic to me that on a day set aside to honor George “I Cannot Tell A Lie” Washington and “Honest Abe” Abraham Lincoln that the Illinois Senate seat battle, which most recently got a governor impeached, garners headlines like this: Perjury or not, Burris shows he is at least a liar. This whole scene just makes me oh, so proud of my home state.

At least George’s birthday isn’t until Sunday. He can distance himself a little from all the hub-bub.

Which brings me to questions about this holiday. If the whole idea behind this holiday is to combine the observance of Washington and Lincoln’s birthday, what part of that didn’t Illinois get? The state still observes both Lincoln’s birthday and Presidents’ Day.

OK, I grant you that even though he wasn’t born in Illinois, we lay claim to Lincoln. Hence, we’re the Land of Lincoln. And, at least for this year, it was his 200th birthday. You only get one of those, right?

While I still think it’s double-dipping to take both days, I can at least understand that.
But why does Missouri’s state government take both of them, too?

I guess I shouldn’t question it, considering that Ole Abe, more than 140 years after his death, is still our most popular president. Well, at least according to C-SPAN, who recently released their latest rankings of America's 42 ex-presidents.

I guess my grandparents must have been onto something. I grew up in a house where pictures of three of the Top 10 on this list were proudly displayed: Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy.

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