Photo by Chad Runge / Creation Swap

Friday, February 18, 2011

Presidents' Day

Excerpt taken from the aforementioned website:

So when did Americans first acknowledge our Presidents with their own day?

Presidents' Day dates back to our founding father and first President, George Washington. Washington was born on February 22, 1732. On his birthday in 1796, when Washington was in his last full year as president, the day became the holiday known as Washington's Birthday. However, Americans didn't observe this holiday until 1832, 100 years after his birth.

Abraham Lincoln was the next President to gain reverence similar to Washington. Born on February 12, 1809, Lincoln's birthday was first celebrated in 1865, the year after he was assassinated. Although his birthday was not honored as a federal holiday like Washington's, many states adopted it as a legal holiday.

In 1968, Congress passed legislation placing any federal holiday on a Monday, including Washington's birthday, to create a three-day weekend. In 1971, President Richard Nixon combined Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays into Presidents' Day. It would be celebrated on the third Monday in February, regardless of which day it fell on. Presidents' Day is now viewed as a holiday that pays tribute to both Washington and Lincoln, as well as all those who have served as president.

With Presidents’ Day around the corner, I thought it would be interesting to discuss the two presidents that are primarily celebrated on this holiday.  There are certainly many history books that chronicle the lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  Washington, of course, is one of our founding fathers.  Lincoln, or otherwise known as Honest Abe, was president during one of the most tumultuous times of our nation’s history.
But outside of the history books, how much do we really know about these two remarkable men?  Aside from knowing that Washington was a general in the Continental Army (actually he was Commander-in-Chief due to the fact that there was no president at the time,) we can assume that he was a man of courage and strength.  With Lincoln, we know that he fought against succession of the United States.  That had to take great moral fortitude to fight a battle that would pit brother against brother and ultimately see hundreds of thousands of lives lost.

What else can we learn from these historical figures?  What drove them?  What was their passion?  What can we learn from their character that might have some bearing on our lives today?

Knowing that history books in schools today have been diluted of some of the more significant qualities of our ancestors, students of the public school formats are learning only the basics, and secular parts I might add, of who these people were decades and centuries ago.  It’s no secret that even in today’s current events that there’s a battle over the separation of church and state.  With a letter from Thomas Jefferson taken out of context, it has become the secularists’ mantra.

The real substance in the history of the United States has been excluded, taken out, and forgotten.  But if one were to examine some of the writings and quotes of any one of these historical figures, that person could not walk away without taking some measure of the spiritual significance that not only begot this nation, but guided it successfully in the following years till today.  God was indeed influential in the transpired events of this nation’s history and still is.

So let’s look at some of the sayings that are attributed to George Washington:

Also, let’s examine some of what Abraham Lincoln has said:

Two different men from different eras.  But George Washington and Abraham Lincoln had more in common than just patriotism and being Presidents of the United States.  They had a unique understanding of God’s providence over their lives.  Throughout their terms in office, they regularly sought God’s guidance and prayed for wisdom to help them govern a great people.

Reading these quotes, you cannot deny their acknowledgement of the Supreme Authority over their lives and over the affairs of men.  These were men of spiritual significance, of godly character that helped them through some of the most difficult times our country endured.  Without men like Washington and Lincoln, our country would not have been as successful as it has.  It has prospered and it has flourished, not because of man’s greatness or ingenuity, but because of the faithfulness of men who prayed and sought the face of God.  As such, many of the technologies and scientific advancements have been the result of God’s blessings on our country.

When we celebrate Presidents’ Day, do we really celebrate its significance?  Or is it because some of us get a day off from work?  Maybe some go to some special Presidents’ Day sales.  Perhaps for most of us, the day goes by without a second thought.  Here’s a challenge:  on this Presidents’ Day, let’s honor the men who did so much for our country by honoring the One who gave them the moral character and godly attributes that made them so great!  Let’s give God the glory and honor and worship Him!

Follow these two links and get a sense of the impact God had on these two lives:


  1. Praise God that He has given us the right leaders at the time when our country needed them most. We certainly could use a few good and Godly leaders running our country today.

    Take care Dean and have a great week :-)


  2. Great post Dean. I agree with Ron. There are too many godless folks out there running our country. We need to get God back into our government and the only way to do that is for us Christians to get out and vote. Blessings, Lloyd

  3. Good food for thought on this President's Day Dean. All too easy to skate around on the surface of things rather digging deeper.

  4. Ron -

    We sure could. It's getting crazy out there. You have a great week too!

    Lloyd -

    I think there was a time Christians thought they weren't supposed to be in politics. Don't quite understand that, but I agree, we need more Christians out there!

    Wanda -

    Our culture tends to skim over the meat of topics these days. I'm guilty of that. But if we "dig a little deeper" as you say, we can find some real important truths.

    God bless! Have a great week!

  5. I love the fact that these 2 Presidents had a love for God! That makes them great men!

  6. Kim -

    I couldn't agree more. Hope you are having a great week!

    God bless!