Monday, February 19, 2007 at 11:54 AM
Of course, it’s a testament to Washington’s extraordinary character and accomplishments that no other president was accorded this honor until it was bestowed on 12 February 1892 upon Abraham Lincoln, the man who “preserved the union through its darkest hour”: the American Civil War. (Although, lingering sympathy and regret stemming from the fact that he was assassinated so notoriously at Ford’s Theater on 14 April 1965 probably inspired reverence for him in this regard.)
Since then, however, no other president has been deemed worthy of this honor; notwithstanding the faces of two of them (Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt along with Washington and Lincoln) being sculpted into Mount Rushmore. (Indeed, it’s a testament to the extraordinary character and accomplishments of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., that he’s the only other American to have a federal holiday – the third Monday in January – declared in his name.)
At any rate, in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which combined Washington’s and Lincoln’s’s holiday into the one that is now celebrated so perversely on this day….
NOTE: My choice of presidents to grace Mount Rushmore II: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald W. Reagan. Your choice?