I heard spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders say that Trump plans to spend Presidents' Day golfing at Trump International Pauvre Interdit Resort on the French side of St. Martin. This started my wife and me arguing over whether President is singular or plural for the holiday.
Also, wouldn't it be more patriotic to celebrate such a holiday in the United States?
-- Bart Franklin,
It was wholly a pleasure to hear from you even though you and your wife -- along with a majority of your fellow citizens -- are wallowing in a miry slough of despondent error without even knowing it.
But (sigh) you give me the opportunity once again to tilt against the windmill of pandemic ignorance. I fear it has become an annual quixotic exercise in futility. And yet I soldier on.
The uphill struggle for precision and accuracy is made all the more Sisyphean by equally ignorant (or simply apathetic) presidents including the current Sciolist in Chief.
Here it is one more time, boys and girls: The official and legal name of the federal holiday coming Monday is George Washington's Birthday. Not President's Day. Not Presidents' Day.
Longtime readers of this column well know that I have been at the forefront of the nationwide crusade to counter the nefarious marketing forces behind so-called "Presidents' Day" since 1997. That was when I first ran the shocking expose that revealed how Presidents' Day subterfuge began with Richard Nixon in 1971.
"My fellow Americans," Nixon wrote, "it is with great pride that Pat, Tricia, Julie and I wish you the happiest of Presidents' Days, the first such three-day holiday set aside to honor all presidents, including myself.
"Pat and I plan to celebrate at one of the many Presidents' Day sales, purchasing for her a good Republican cloth coat."
Nixon's thinly veiled intent was to have himself included in a holiday honoring all those who have served as president, not just Washington. In that way, Nixon thought he would ensure his own legacy.
The misdirection was continued by the politically savvy Bill Clinton, who jumped on the bandwagon with his own "Presidents' Day" proclamation in 1997.
By 2003, my annual diatribe on the subject had made such an impact that a formal "Restore George" movement had coalesced. The column was even the subject of an in-depth investigative piece by Chris Wallace on Fox News.
Washington's birthday has been a federal holiday, as implemented by an act of Congress, since 1879. Initially it was celebrated on his actual birthday of Feb. 22, but was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968.
That law took effect in 1971 and was the occasion for Nixon's speech. It went downhill from there and even included a proclamation by Trump last year.
In a packed Oval Office ceremony, Trump signed an executive order officially changing the name of the holiday from Washington's Birthday to Presidents' Day. He later tweeted: "Presidents' Day on my desk calendar. Good enough for me and America. WIN-WIN. HUGE!"
That executive order is on hold because the American Civil Liberties Union immediately filed suit to block the measure that would include Trump in all future Presidents' Day celebrations. The case will be heard in April by District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
Meanwhile, vast indolent segments of American society, manipulated by the advertising industry and too apathetic to think for themselves, continue to refer to the holiday by the generic and odiously reprehensible "Presidents' Day" despite an act of Congress that keeps the original name that honors only our first president.
You can read more on the movement at MountVernon.org.
And golf? The great holistic therapeutic value of playing golf has been well known in the White House since Eisenhower. I'm all for the president playing as much as he can wherever he can. You can keep track of his Duffer-in-Chief status at TrumpGolfCount.com. A recent check found the president had visited golf clubs 93 times since his inauguration, with 45 verified rounds of golf.
Until next time, Kalaka reminds you that the $52,631,318 cost to taxpayers for security and Air Force One travel has been money well spent.
Fayetteville-born Otus the Head Cat's award-winning column of
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Print Headline: 'Presidents' Day' is an annual exercise in futility