Presidents Day

The federal holiday honoring ‘George Washington’ was originally implemented by an ‘Act of Congress’ in (1879) for government offices in ‘Washington’ and expanded in (1885) to include all federal offices. As the first federal holiday to honor an ‘American President’, the holiday was celebrated on ‘Washington’ actual birthday, February 22. On January 1, (1971), the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the ‘Uniform Monday Holiday Act’. This date places it between February 15 and 21, which makes the name “Washington’s Birthday” in some sense a misnomer, since it never occurs on ‘Washington’ actual birthday, either February 11 or February 22.

Today, the February holiday has become well known for being a day in which many stores, especially car dealers, hold sales. Until the late (1980), corporate businesses generally closed on this day, similar to present corporate practices on ‘Memorial Day’ or ‘Christmas Day’. With the late (1980) advertising push to rename the holiday, more and more businesses are staying open on the holiday each year, and, as on ‘Veterans Day’ and ‘Columbus Day’, most delivery services outside of the ‘United States Postal Service’ now offer regular service on the day as well. Some public transit systems have also gone to regular schedules on the day. Many colleges and universities hold regular classes and operations on ‘Presidents Day’.

Various theories exist for this, one accepted reason being to make up for the growing trend of corporations to close in observance of the ‘Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.’ Conversely, many schools and business formerly open on this day began closing after the observance of ‘Dr. King’ birthday holiday became prevalent. This was done in order not to diminish ‘Washington’ birthday in comparison to ‘King’. However, when reviewing the ‘Uniform Monday Holiday Bill’ debate of (1968) in the ‘Congressional Record’, one notes that supporters of the ‘Bill’ were intent on moving federal holidays to Mondays to promote business.

Both ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Washington’ birthdays are in February. In historical rankings of ‘Presidents of the United States’ both ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Washington’ are frequently, but not always, the top two presidents.

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Republican Politics

On November 6, (1860), ‘Lincoln’ was elected the 16th president of the ‘United States’, beating ‘Democrat’ ‘Stephen A. Douglas’, ‘John C. Breckinridge’ of the ‘Southern Democrats’, and ‘John Bell’ of the new ‘Constitutional Union Party’. He was the first president from the ‘Republican Party’. His victory was entirely due to the strength of his support in the ‘North’ and ‘West’; no ballots were cast for him in 10 of the 15 ‘Southern’ slave states, and he won only two of 996 counties in all the ‘Southern’ states.

On May 9–10, (1860), the ‘Illinois’ ‘Republican State Convention’ was held in ‘Decatur’. ‘Lincoln’ followers organized a campaign team led by ‘David Davis’, ‘Norman Judd’, ‘Leonard Swett’, and ‘Jesse DuBois’, and ‘Lincoln’ received his first endorsement to run for the presidency. On May 18, at the ‘Republican National Convention’ in ‘Chicago’, ‘Lincoln’ friends promised and manipulated and won the nomination on the third ballot, beating candidates such as ‘William H. Seward’ and ‘Salmon P. Chase’. A former ‘Democrat’, ‘Hannibal Hamlin’ of ‘Maine’, was nominated for ‘Vice President’ to balance the ticket. ‘Lincoln’ success depended on his reputation as a moderate on the slavery issue, and his strong support for ‘Whiggish’ programs of internal improvements and the protective tariff.

‘Abraham Lincoln’ was born February 12, (1809), the second child of ‘Thomas’ and ‘Nancy Hanks Lincoln’, in a one-room log cabin on the ‘Sinking Spring Farm’ in ‘Hardin County’, ‘Kentucky’. He is a descendant of ‘Samuel Lincoln’, who migrated from ‘Norfolk’, ‘England’ to ‘Hingham’, ‘Massachusetts’, in (1638). ‘Samuel’ grandson and great-grandson began the family western migration, which passed through ‘New Jersey’, ‘Pennsylvania’, and ‘Virginia’. ‘Lincoln’ paternal grandfather and namesake, ‘Captain Abraham Lincoln’, moved the family from Virginia to ‘Jefferson County’, ‘Kentucky’ in the (1780s).

‘Lincoln’ has been consistently ranked both by scholars and the public as one of the three greatest ‘United States’ presidents.

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Urban Legends

‘Santa Claus’, also known as ‘Saint Nicholas’, ‘Father Christmas’, ‘Kris Kringle’ and simply “Santa”, is a figure with legendary, historical and folkloric origins who, in many ‘Western’ cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on 24 December, the night before ‘Christmas Day’. Since the 20th century, in an idea popularized by the (1934) song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, ‘Santa Claus’ has been believed to make a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior (“naughty” or “nice”) and to deliver presents, including toys, and candy to all of the well-behaved children in the world, and sometimes coal to the naughty children, on the single night of Christmas Eve.

‘L. Frank Baum The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus’, a (1902) children book, further popularized ‘Santa Claus’. Much of ‘Santa Claus’ mythos was not set in stone at the time, leaving ‘Baum’ to give his “Neclaus” (Necile’s Little One) a wide variety of immortal support, a home in the Laughing ‘Valley of Hohaho’, and ten reindeer—who could not fly, but leapt in enormous, flight-like bounds. ‘Claus’ immortality was earned, much like his title (“Santa”), decided by a vote of those naturally immortal. This work also established ‘Claus’ motives: a happy childhood among immortals. When Ak, Master Woodsman of the World, exposes him to the misery and poverty of children in the outside world, ‘Santa’ strives to find a way to bring joy into the lives of all children, and eventually invents toys as a principal means.

Images of ‘Santa Claus’ were further popularized through ‘Haddon Sundblom’ depiction of him for The ‘Coca-Cola Company’ Christmas advertising in the (1930). The popularity of the image spawned urban legends that ‘Santa Claus’ was invented by The ‘Coca-Cola Company’ or that ‘Santa’ wears red and white because they are the colors used to promote the ‘Coca-Cola’ brand. The image of ‘Santa Claus’ as a benevolent character became reinforced with its association with charity and philanthropy, particularly by organizations such as the ‘Salvation Army’. Volunteers dressed as ‘Santa Claus’ typically became part of fundraising drives to aid needy families at ‘Christmas’ time.

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Christian Advent

The ‘Christmas’ season, also called the holiday season especially in the ‘United States’ and ‘Canada’, the festive season, or simply the holidays, is an annually recurring period recognized in many ‘Western’ and ‘Western-influenced’ countries that is generally considered to run from late November to early January, defined as incorporating at least ‘Christmas’ and usually ‘New Year’, and sometimes various other holidays and festivals. Originally, the term “Christmas season” was considered synonymous with ‘Christmastide’, a term itself derived from ‘Yuletide’, which runs from December 25 ‘Christmas Day’ to January 6 ‘Epiphany’, popularly known as the ’12 Days of Christmas’.

Beginning in the mid-20th century, as the Christian-associated ‘Christmas’ holiday became increasingly secularized and central to ‘American’ economics and culture while religio-multicultural sensitivity rose, generic references to the season that omitted the word “Christmas” became more common in the corporate and public sphere of the ‘United States’, which has caused a semantics controversy that continues to the present.

The tradition of celebrating the birth of ‘Christ’ on the 25th of December appears to date from the 4th century when ‘Christianity’ was adopted as the official religion of the ‘Roman Empire’. In the ‘Christian’ tradition the ‘Christmas’ season is a period beginning on ‘Christmas Day’ 25 December. In some churches the season continues until the day before the ‘Epiphany’, which is celebrated either on 6 January or on the Sunday between 2 and 8 January. In other churches it continues until the feast of the ‘Baptism of the Lord’, which falls on the sunday following the ‘Epiphany’, or on the monday following the ‘Epiphany’ if the ‘Epiphany’ is moved to 7 or 8 January.

In the United States the holiday season “is generally considered to begin with the day after Thanksgiving and end after New Year’s Day”.

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Plymouth Settlers

‘Thanksgiving’ is a holiday celebrated in the ‘United States’ on the fourth thursday in November. It became an official federal holiday in (1863), when, during the ‘Civil War’, President ‘Abraham Lincoln’ proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”.

Also, there are reports that the original ‘Thanksgiving’ proclamation was signed by ‘George Washington’. As a federal and public holiday in the ‘United States’. ‘Thanksgiving’ is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with ‘Christmas’ and ‘New Year’, ‘Thanksgiving’ is a part of the broader holiday season.

‘Americans’ commonly trace the ‘Thanksgiving’ holiday to a (1621) celebration at the ‘Plymouth Plantation’, where the ‘Plymouth’ settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season. Autumn or early winter feasts continued sporadically in later years, first as an impromptu religious observance, and later as a civil tradition.

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1919 / Nov. 11

‘Veterans Day’ is an official ‘United States’ holiday that honors people who have served in the ‘U.S. Armed Forces’. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11.

‘Veterans Day’ celebrates the service of all ‘U.S. military’ veterans. U.S. President ‘Woodrow Wilson’ first proclaimed ‘Armistice Day’ for November 11 (1919). The ‘United States Congress’ passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4 (1926), requesting that President ‘Calvin Coolidge’ issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies.

In (1945), ‘World War II’ veteran ‘Raymond Weeks’ from ‘Birmingham’, ‘Alabama’, had the idea to expand ‘Armistice Day’ to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in ‘World War I’. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. ‘Dwight Eisenhower’, who supported the idea of ‘National Veterans Day’. Weeks led the first national celebration in (1947) in ‘Alabama’ and annually until his death in (1985).

President ‘Reagan’ honored ‘Weeks’ at the ‘White House’ with the ‘Presidential Citizenship Medal’ in (1982) as the driving force for the national holiday. ‘Elizabeth Dole’, who prepared the briefing for President ‘Reagan’, determined ‘Weeks’ as the “Father of Veterans Day”. U.S. Representative ‘Ed Rees’ from ‘Emporia’, ‘Kansas’, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress.

President ‘Dwight D. Eisenhower’, also from ‘Kansas’, signed the bill into law on May 26 (1954). Congress amended this act on June 1 (1954), replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans” and it has been known as ‘Veterans Day’ since. ‘The National Veterans Award’, created (1954), also started in ‘Birmingham’.

Congressman ‘Rees’ of ‘Kansas’ was honored in ‘Alabama’ as the first recipient of the award for his support offering legislation to make ‘Veterans Day’ a federal holiday.

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Coco CHANEL

‘Gabrielle Chanel’ was a ‘French’ fashion designer and founder of the ‘Chanel’ brand. Her design aesthetic redefined the fashionable woman for the post ‘WWI’ era. She is the only fashion designer listed on ‘Time magazine’ list of the 100 most influential people of the ’20th century’.

‘Chanel’ was credited with liberating women from the constraints of the “corseted silhouette” and popularizing the acceptance of a sportive, casual chic as the feminine standard. ‘Chanel’ influence extended beyond couture clothing. Her design aesthetic was realized in jewelry, handbags, and fragrance.

‘Chanel’ philosophy was to emphasize understated elegance through her clothing. Her signature scent, ‘Chanel No. 5’, has become an iconic product. ‘Chanel’ trademark was a look of youthful ease, a liberated physicality, and unencumbered sportive confidence.

‘Harper Bazaar’ raved over ‘Chanel’ designs: “The woman who hasn’t at least one ‘Chanel’ is hopelessly out of fashion … This season the name ‘Chanel’ is on the lips of every buyer.”

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