Today is Presidents Day, which means that some people don’t have to work. I am not some people.
It is also a good day to remember past presidents, specifically George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The day is officially designated to remember Washington’s birthday (February 22), but Lincoln was also much admired and his birthday was also in February, so the tradition now includes both of them.
Washington, the first U.S. president, was known for being the father of our country, leading the Revolutionary war, and his inability to lie about fallen fruit trees. He also said some pretty wise things:
“I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.”
“Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse.”
“Friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”
Abraham Lincoln is well-known for his height, the Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves. He has some great quotes as well, although I think Michael Scott may have gotten this one wrong: “Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘If you are a racist, I will attack you with the North.’ ”
Here are some sayings we can actually attribute to the president:
“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.”
“The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.”
“Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”
So whether you’re working today or not, please feel free to contribute to the discussion. Who are some of your favorite past presidents? Why do you like them? What good things did they say and do for the United States?