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By Attorney Rees Lloyd
February 18, 2017

Repeal The Uniform Monday Holiday Act

February 22, 2017, is the 285th anniversary of the birth in 1732 of General and President George Washington, the “Father Of Our Country.” Washington was the most universally respected and admired American in the age of the Founding Fathers, and in the history of America.

Once upon a time, George Washington’s Birthday was a National Holiday celebrated on the actual anniversary of his birth, February 22. On Washington’s Birthday, Americans paused to remember and honor him. Parents and schools taught American children about his life on his birthday; urged the children to learn about the Father Of His [Their] Country, and to follow his example of patriotic love of country, selfless service and sacrifice for freedom, personal honor, dedication to duty, fidelity to principle.

By observing Washington’s Birthday as a National Holiday on his actual birthdate, Feb. 22, the focus of the nation was on Washington, on the example he set by his extraordinary life, establishing him as “the Greatest American.”

However, all that changed in 1971. Congress, pressured by federal government bureaucrats and other employees and their unions, abolished “Washington’s Birthday” as a National Holiday. It was replaced with “Presidents’ Day” to be observed on the “third Monday of February” as a result of the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act,” which gave government employees their sought after three-day weekends.

As a result, American children in government schools learn little or nothing about the greatest man in the history of America, without whose extraordinary virtues and sacrifices they would not be free.

Therefore, I urge that “Washington’s Birthday” should be reinstated as a National Holiday. It should be celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday: February 22, not another day for the three-day holiday convenience of alleged “public servants” in government employment. Nor should Washington be lumped in with other, less deserving presidents in a concocted “Presidents Day.”

George Washington was acknowledged at the genesis of the United States of America as the "Father Of His Country," the greatest of all Americans. He received such honors for good reasons that endure and should not be forgotten, or never taught to succeeding generations. He set an enduring example of fidelity to God and Country. His life should be known, remembered, honored, and emulated by Americans of this and and future generations, as he was by the generation of the Founding Fathers who knew him best.

George Washington was the most admired American by the Americans of the Founding Generation who created the free, Constitutional republic of America: "First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen," as Washington was described by Revolutionary War hero Henry ("Light Horse Harry") Lee. No president, no American, has every been so universally respected and admired as was Washington.

Washington set an enduring example in war by his conduct as Commanding General of the American Revolutionary Army in the War of Independence, 1776-1883, in which he was regarded as the “indispensable man” without whose leadership freedom would never have been achieved in the war against England, then the greatest military power on earth.

Washington continued setting the example in peace when he was elected by acclamation as president of the Constitutional Convention, and thereafter elected as the First President of the United States.

He set perhaps an even greater example by walking away from power and returning home to Virginia as a private citizen after his second term, refusing offers that he be president for life.

His act of humbly declining power as President and returning home stunned the world, in which the United States was then the only republic in a world of monarchs and potentates. He was hailed as a (then) modern "Cincinnatus," the Roman general who walked away from imperial power when Rome ruled the world. When others grasped for power—then and now—George Washington, singularly, relinquished power, setting an unprecedented example of duty, honor, country, first.

After his death on Dec. 14, 1799, George Washington was hailed in the western world as "the greatest man of his age." Even Napoleon, who had no small estimation of his own greatness, deferred to Washington, saying (on Feb. 9, 1800) : "This great man fought against tyranny; he established the liberty of his country. His memory will always be dear to the French people, as it will be to all freemen of the two worlds.”

Americans once believed those words. George Washington was the first American to be honored with a federal holiday. "Washington's Birthday" was established by Act of Congress in 1879. As noted above,"Washington's Birthday" holiday was observed on the anniversary of Washington's birthday, February 22, until Congress, putting the care, comfort and convenience of government employees first, adopted the "Uniform Monday Holiday Act," which became effective on Jan. 1, 1971.

That Act effectively subordinated remembrance of the example of George Washington's life, and maintaining or inculcating those virtues in the national character, especially of the young, and immigrants who would be Americans, for the higher purpose of insuring that federal and other government employees will have nice three-day weekend holidays, while the rest of the country goes to work.

"Washington's Birthday" holiday was in effect abolished from national consciousness in the 1970's, when the the holiday was renamed "President's Day," submerging America's greatest president, George Washington, into an undifferentiated mass of competent men and con men, the good, the bad, the ugly, the avaricious, meretricious, and salacious, who have managed, often by hook and crook, and lying through their teeth, to get themselves elected President.

With the abolition of George Washington’s Birthday, and Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday to satisfy government employees three-day weekend demands, the only American in all of history now to have a National Holiday in his name is Martin Luther King.

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Concisely stated: It is the singular, unprecedented virtues, character, and example of George Washington which ought to be remembered and honored, singularly, on his actual birthday, February 22, as a National Holiday.

Therefore, let us Americans of this generation demand that Congress restore the "Washington's Birthday” National Holiday to be observed on February 22, annually, the actual birth date of George Washington, no matter the lamentations of government bureaucrats and employees who may suffer the oppression of one less three-day weekend holiday.

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Rees Lloyd, a one time ACLU staff attorney, is the co-founder and director of the Defense of Veterans Memorial Project of the American Legion Dept. of California, and a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.

A longtime civil rights attorney and veterans activist whose work has been honored by, among others, the California Senate and Assembly, and numerous civil rights, workers rights, and veterans rights organizations. He has testified as a constitutional expert at hearings before the U.S. House and Senate representing The American Legion.

He has been profiled, and his work featured, by such varied print media as the Los Angeles Times and American Legion Magazine, and such broadcast media as ABC's Nightline and 20/20, Fox News In The Morning, and, among others, by Hannity. His writings have appeared in a variety of national, regional, and local newspaper, magazine, and other publications. He is a frequent radio commentator, and a sought after speaker.*

[*For identification only. The views expressed here are solely Rees Lloyd's and not necessarily any person, entity or organization he may otherwise represent. ]




With the abolition of George Washington’s Birthday, and Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday to sat-isfy government employees three-day weekend demands, the only American in all of history now to have a National Holiday in his name is Martin Luther King.