Editorial: Current crop in Washington could take page out of history

Today is George Washington’s real birthday.

The “Father of our Country,” George Washington, was born on this day in 1732 at Pope’s Creek, Va.

The federal government holiday,

“Washington’s Birthday,” was on Feb. 18, as a result of the Uniform

Monday Holiday Act of

1971 to give employees three days off. Thus, the holiday is always

on the third Monday of February, which never falls on the


There was an effort at the time to rename the holiday “Presidents Day” to honor Abraham Lincoln, born Feb. 12, 1809, and all

presidents, but that effort failed and the name has remained the same since it first became a national holiday in 1885.

To add to the confusion, advertisers have perpetuated the myth that the name of the national holiday is Presidents Day, which

has been picked up by much of the news media as well.

But we believe George Washington

deserves to be recognized on his actual birthday. His steadfastness

during the American Revolution

was largely responsible for our independence, and his wise

leadership as our first president was chiefly responsible for


the United States as a stable, long-lasting constitutional


Washington’s Birthday was celebrated by the American people as a national holiday by public acclaim long before the federal

government officially recognized it as a holiday in order to give employees a day off.

If you’ve ever read about the Battle of

the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas in 1836, it is noted the Texans were

having a celebration

the night before the siege started. The Texan colonists were

celebrating Washington’s Birthday on Feb. 22. The siege of the

Alamo began Feb. 23 and lasted 13 days.

Some historians have criticized

Washington for losing so many battles during the American Revolution.

But considering the

fact that he had to create the U.S. Army out of mostly raw

recruits with little military experience, it is amazing he was

able to win as many battles as he did against the largest,

best-equipped and best-led army in the world at the time — the

British Army. When others, called “sunshine patriots” by Thomas

Paine, were ready to give up, it was Washington who was able

to always keep an army in the field and the revolution going. Most

importantly, Washington and his men, with help from the

French, won the war and our independence.

After the war, Washington returned home

to Mount Vernon and was content to be a farmer for the rest of his

life. But when

the new nation was beset with problems and was becoming unstable,

and some thought unworkable, the people once again called

upon him to save the nation, this time as the first U.S.


As president, he set many precedents that have served the nation well. He strictly governed by the new Constitution, ratified

in 1789, and was admired for his honesty, and devotion to God and country. He brought order out of disorder and after two

terms in office, voluntarily stepped down from office and returned again to Mount Vernon. He died there Dec. 14, 1799.

Let us hope and pray that the current politicians running the government in Washington, D.C. will begin governing more like

George Washington by putting the love of country and respect for the Constitution ahead of ideology and party politics.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney,

Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.