Tuesday, February 15, 2011

All of the Presidents in February

February has quite a few folk traditions to its credit. Besides Valentine’s Day, it is also when the Chinese New Year takes place in America, is the final month of the Winter season and is when we American’s acknowledge our Presidents.

President’s Day itself can be traced back to the birthday of our first President George Washington. Born on February 22, 1732. During his term as president, his birthday became known as Washington’s Birthday. It didn’t become a national holiday until 1832.

President Abraham Lincoln was also a February baby. Born on February 12, 1809, there was not a national birthday celebration until the year after he was assassinated.

Fast forward to 1968 when the Congress voted to make Monday the day federal holidays would be celebrated. The result was that particular weekend, the third in the month, became a three-day holiday. Congress also voted to toss President Richard Nixon’s birthday into the mix as well. Shortly thereafter the holiday became a holiday for all of the nation’s presidents whether or not they were born in February.

So, for fun, here is a Presidential pop-quiz. See how much you know about our country’s leaders.


Q: Why did Abraham Lincoln wear a tall black stovepipe hat?

Q: Which one of our president’s was the only unmarried man ever to be elected?

Q: The 20th president, James Garfield could do what with the Greek and Latin languages?

Q; What Potomac River water sport did President James Quincy Adams enjoy?

Before we get to the answers, here are some fun February weather lore tidbits:

  • Married in February's sleety weather, Life you'll tread in tune together.
  • Violent north winds in February herald a fertile year.
  • If February gives much snow, A fine summer it doth foreshow.
  • Frogs in February mean frosts in May


A: Because he carried letters, bills and notes inside the hat and needed lots of room for them.

A: James Buchanan. He was engaged once. His fiancee broke off the engagement and he remained unmarried all his life.

A: He was ambidextrous and could write Greek with one hand while writing Latin with the other.

A: In warm weather he would go skinny-dipping in the Potomac River before dawn.

Happy February!

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