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Presidents' Day

Recorded on February 21, 2011

It's time for common sense; I'm Ernest Istook.

There was a time when schoolchildren knew February 12th was Abraham Lincoln's birthday and February 22nd was George Washington's. William Henry Harrison and Ronald Reagan were also born in February.

But the President's Day holiday was created to honor George Washington, beginning in 1880. In 1971 it was changed to fall on a Monday between the 12th and 22nd, yet never actually on Washington's February 22nd birthday—giving Lincoln equal time with Washington.

Not everybody gets the day off, but for most of us the original purpose of the holiday gets lost. But at least one community still throws a big annual parade in Washington's honor on President's Day. That's Alexandria, Virginia, right next to his home in Mount Vernon.

It's nice that some people still celebrate America's first hero, not just take a day off to shop for bargains.

For common sense, from The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.