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.
We 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!