The third Monday of February- for most of us, it’s just a day off of school. Another morning of sleeping in, an extra day to finish up homework, another three day weekend. Why do we even have February 17th off? What is February 17th for?
February 17th is the day we celebrate George Washington’s birthday nationwide, and more specifically, February 17th is National President’s Day 2014.
President’s Day is a day we celebrate our past United States Presidents who served our country; many of them dedicating their lives to it. More specifically, February 22nd is George Washington’s Birthday and February 17th is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, and thus the third Monday of February has been known as President’s Day since 1879.
Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, Calvin Coolidge- there’s a reason to celebrate every past President of the USA, whether you find that reason big or small.
“I like Abe Lincoln,” said ARS sophomore, Itzel Ruiz. “He seems friendly, and he did a lot for our country [regarding] the Civil War,” Ruiz added.
Fellow sophomore Ally Reznicek has a different view on past Presidents. “Teddy Roosevelt is my favorite President because he created the National Parks System and believed in the importance of nature. We have some similar values,” she said.
Yet others have more suspicious views of past Presidents. ARS Student Febe Martinez is known for her profound viewpoints. In speaking on her favorite United States Presidents, Martinez said, ” I think JFK is interesting because he allegedly rigged the elections, but everyone looked over that because they really admired him. He and his family went down in history as the sweethearts of America. But rigging [the elections]?”
Each past president has had their own little “quirks,” whether it be rigging the elections or getting stuck in the White House bathtub! Lets take a look at some of the neat little “quirks” of some of our past Presidents.
1. James Madison was the smallest United States President at less than 5’4″ and weighing in at under 100lbs.
2. Teddy Bears are named after President Theodore “Teddy Roosevelt,” who was known as a nature-lover and refused to shoot a bear cub on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi.
3. The only United States President who had his bartender’s license was Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln co-owned a pub in Springfield, Illinois.
4. The capital of Liberia- Monrovia- is named after President James Monroe. Monroe worked to create a home for freed slaves in Liberia, so the country named their capital city after him in 1822.
5. John Quincy Adams was known to skinny-dip in the Potomac River in the early mornings.
6. President James Buchanan often bought slaves in Washington DC, just so he could free them.
7. President James A. Garfield was ambidextrous and could write Greek with one hand and Latin with the other- at the same time!
8. President William H. Taft was so large that he once got stuck in one of the White House bath tubs. Taft was three and a half times the weight of President Madison.
9. President Chester A. Arthur was known for being a “fancy man,” and was proposed to many times. He was once proposed to four times in a single day. He also owned 80 pairs of pants, which earned him the title “Elegant Arthur.”
10. Herbert Hoover’s son had two pet alligators, who occasionally ran free in the White House.
11. In college, President Gerald R. Ford was a fashion model and even appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine.
12. President Bill Clinton as an almost perfectly symmetrical face.
13. President George W. Bush was captain of his high school cheerleading team.
14. Perpetuating his love for animals, Teddy Roosevelt had five guinea pigs named Dr. Johnson, Bishop Doane, Fighting Bob Evans, Admiral Dewey, and Father O’Grady
15. A blueberry flavored Jelly Belly was created in honor of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration. Reagan was a self-confessed Jelly Belly lover and has a portrait of himself made of Jelly Bellies in his library.
16. President Warren Harding lost the White House China Set in an intense poker match.
17. Herbert Hoover and his wife lived in China for many years and thus spoke fluent Mandarin, which they would speak around the White House in an effort to have more “private” conversations.
18. President Milliard Fillmore was the first President to have a stepmother.
19. The Secret Service’s codename for President George H.W. Bush was “Timberwolf.”
20. President Jimmy Carter had a strange fascination with UFOs, and was the only President to ever report a UFO sighting.
Enjoy your President’s Day!