Presidents’ Day Weekend *Open Thread*


On Monday, February 20th, we celebrate “Presidents’ Day.” Since that day is a Federal holiday, we get a three day weekend. Whee! Many folks are off on Monday, though if you are in the market for a new buy, the sales are pretty good, so there’s that.

170216_0002We won’t be spending it shopping, that’s for sure. Nope, we’ll be doing fun things like moving the new appliances from the garage to the new house. Fun! Ahem. Well, we WILL be having some fun, including going fishing off the new dock with our friend who takes care of our horse and her 16 year old son who LOVES to fish. So, yeah – that will be a good time assuming the weather is nice.

Since it is Presidents’Day Weekend, how about some fun facts and trivia regarding our Presidents, including how the day got started? Here we go, from IBTimes:

The Presidents Day tradition first began in 1800, the year after Washington died. People mourning the late leader celebrated his birthday, and in 1879 the holiday became official. It became a federal event in 1885 and was the first observance for a single individual, according to the History Channel. But the day wasn’t just for Washington for too long — by the 1960s, Congress was requesting the government add Lincoln to the annual festivities. (Washington and Lincoln were both born in February.) Today, people use it to remember all of the U.S. commander-in-chiefs.

Washington did have fake teeth, but they weren’t wooden, as lore has it. More likely, the teeth were made out of ivory.

The land where Washington was born is a national monument, while Lincoln’s cabin is a national historical park.

Lincoln’s national historical park has a building with 56 steps — one for each year he lived before being assassinated.

Warren G. Harding had size 14 feet.

Martin Van Buren is responsible for the popular use of the term “OK.”

Theodore Roosevelt had a ring with some of Lincoln’s hair inside it.

Washington didn’t want to be paid a salary for his work as president. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

OK, who knew we had Van Buren to thank for the popularity of THAT phrase? And how did Roosevelt have a ring with Lincoln’s hair in it?

But that’s not all! Smithsonian Magazine also has some interesting facts about some of our former Presidents:

1. George Washington owned a profitable whiskey distillery.

 Whiskey was one of Washington’s most important business ventures at Mount Vernon. At peak production in 1799, the distillery used five stills and a boiler and produced eleven thousand gallons of whiskey. With sales of $7,500 that year, it was perhaps the country’s largest distillery.
Washington’s plantation manager James Anderson, a Scottish man with distilling experience, urged him to start the venture, which was also an efficient way to use unsold ground wheat, corn and rye.

2. James Madison held the first Inaugural Ball.

Although there was a ball in 1789 to honor the election of George Washington, the first official inaugural ball did not occur until 1809, when Madison took office. Madison was sworn in at the U.S. Capitol.

That evening his wife, Dolley Madison, hosted a gala at Long’s Hotel. The price of admissions was four dollars per ticket. Four hundred tickets were sold, and so began a Washington tradition. Today the Presidential Inaugural Committee plans all the official inaugural balls.

3. Gerald Ford was a fashion model in his youth (even appearing on the cover of Cosmopolitan).

Ford’s first love was a woman named Phyllis Brown, a gorgeous blonde who became a fashion model. Brown persuaded Ford to invest in a modeling agency and to do some modeling himself.

Together they appeared in ski resort spread of Look magazine (1940) and on a cover of Cosmopolitan (1942). Ultimately, the pair broke up. She wanted to continue modeling in New York and he decided to forego the runway and begin his law career. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Of course, I had to go find Ford as a model with his first love:

Dang, he was a handsome man in his day, wasn’t he? Wow.

How about Washington having a successful whiskey distillery? It does seem like a creative use of unsold crops. I bet he made more money on the whiskey they produced than in their raw form, but that’s just a guess on my part.

And if those aren’t enough facts and trivia for you, IB Times also had this “44 Facts About The U.S. Presidents” video:


That’s a lot of fun facts about our Presidents told in a pretty funny way. I know I learned a number of interesting things about many of the men who served our Nation that I did not know. I hope you did, too.

That’s it for me. I have some fishing and crabbing to go do. I hope you have a good Presidents’ Day weekend.

This is the Weekend Open Thread. Have at it!

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18 Responses to “Presidents’ Day Weekend *Open Thread*”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    Love this post Amy! You know how I love to learn new things.

    I find it interesting that we have had so many men in the White House and yet each was different in many ways. Each had his own personality or as they used to say about Calvin Coolidge, a lack of one.

    Some few were great men and far too many were not. And some are still touted as “great” when they really weren’t. FDR comes to mind. He can be respected for his courage with his affliction but he was an adulterer and his attempt to pack SCOTUS to get his own was was despicable.

    But none has been like the one we have now. I think we can count that as a good thing. Mostly, because we could have had Hillary. I keep saying that to myself as some kind of mantra.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I’m so glad you liked it, Marge! The video with the 44 facts was really cool, I thought. I learned all kinds of things!

      And you are right – we have had all different kinds of men in the White House. Considering FDR and some of the others, maybe someone like Trump was inevitable. Or maybe not. 🙂

      Good point abt how we could have had Hillary. As up-and-down as Trump is, he has already done some very good things for the country, like what he did for the coal miners recently, something Hillary most definitely would NOT have done. Or like making whether one has insurance or not optional on the 1040 form, not mandatory. That will be big for a lot of people who may have had to pay a fine otherwise. Just trying to be grateful where I can! 😀

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        That’s what I am trying to do, be grateful when I can. In spite of how flawed this fool is he has all ready done more things I can applaud that Obama did in 8 years.

        So I count my blessing if and when I can.

        The continual whining from both left and the #NeverTrumpers who will not move on is assinine.

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

  3. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    David Harsanyi had an excellent article in the Federalist abt how the Lefties are diminishing tremendously what happened with the Holocaust while if they are going to try and hang this on Trump for deporting illegal aliens, they need to do the same to Obama:

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Harsanyi hits the nail on it’s stupid head as he so often does.

      I especially liked this line: ” Stop appropriating the horrors of history for short-term political gain and come up with a better analogy. ”

      The Federalist has a lot of very good writers.

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    Ronald Reagan:

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

    James Monroe

    “It is by a thorough knowledge of the whole subject that [people] are enabled to judge correctly of the past and to give a proper direction to the future.”

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

    With One Tweet, Chuck Todd Reveals The Truth About the Mainstream Media

    It’s always the people inside a bubble who think they’re the ones with an outsider’s perspective on things. The mainstream media fits this profile perfectly. The big name press continue to deny there is anything wrong with the way they do things, or the things they choose to do. NBC’s Chuck Todd, for example, is happy to blame Donald Trump for his profession’s problems and abdicate any responsibility. They all are.

    Todd sent out this tweet when President Trump was going after the media during his press conference on Thursday:

    “This not a laughing matter. I’m sorry, delegitimizing the press is unAmerican “

    The lack of self-awareness here is stunning.

    IMO the best paragraph in the piece was the one below. It says it all.

    People like Todd have become so convinced of their importance; they forget what is they’re supposed to do. Reporters and news anchors have the duty to report the news. They need to gather the info, check facts, ask questions and then provide the information to the public who digest and make decisions based upon what they have seen or read.

  7. kenoshamarge Says:

    “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15

  8. kenoshamarge Says:

    A woman of modest means and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband’s employer’s home. The boss was very wealthy, with an estate home and several cars costing more than the average house.

    The woman delighted to experience first hand the life of the extremely wealthy. The boss indulged his guests both at home on his estate as well as out as exclusive dining establishments.

    On one occasion as they were about to enter an exclusive restaurant, the boss was walking slightly ahead of them. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.

    An awkward silence folllowed. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, a few cigarette butts and assorted litter. Quietly, the rich man reached down and picked up the penny.

    He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have of a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

    Throughout dinner, the penny bothered her. Finally, she causally mentioned that her son once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been rare.

    A smile crept across the man’s face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see.

    “Look at it.” He said. “Read what it says.” She read the words “United States of America.”

    “No, not that; read further.”

    “One cent?” “No, keep reading.”

    “In God we Trust?” “Yes!” “And?”

    “And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it!

    God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by?

    When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!” –

  9. kenoshamarge Says:

  10. kenoshamarge Says:

    Video: Good Samaritan Saves Bus Driver By Beating Her Attacker With His Cane

    Fifty-six-year-old Rodney Goldman didn’t hesitate to act when he saw driver Lynne Judge dealing with a confrontational passenger who began choking her. Goldman picked up his walking cane and began wailing on the thug like Hammerin’ Hank Aaron hitting home-run after home-run on the deranged criminal’s head.

  11. piper Says:

    Some excellent advice for Betsy DeVos regarding education and her policies.

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