It’s February already? Yup, the shortest month of the year is here. But with one more extra day than it had last year, since 2016 is a Leap Year! Enjoy that extra day because it only happens every 4 years to keep us in check with the seasons. If we didn’t have the extra day every 4 years, we might end up with winter in the summer. So we say love every extra minute, it is the month of love after all.
We’re talking about Valentine’s Day, of course, smack dab in the middle of the month. In America, it’s the day we celebrate all things love and friendship. People make cards and gifts to remind those that they love how much they care. Or to creatively tell someone that you admire them. Do you have any idea who receives the most Valentine’s cards every February 14th? Teachers! 2nd place goes to kids. Then onto wives and significant others and pets. Yes, animals even get in on the love these days. We highly recommend getting crafty and making your own handmade Valentines for all the special ones in your life. That’s how Esther Howland of Massachusetts got the nickname the “Mother of the American Valentine.” She made cards from scratch with materials such as paper lace. They became so popular she had to hire friends to help her with the orders. That’s how she became the first woman in America to mass produce valentine’s cards. Talk about woman power. Esther is an inspiration. Doing what she is passionate about while employing her friends to help her live the dream of running her own business… all in the name of love, literally. Brings new meaning to the passion, love, and friendship we celebrate on Valentine’s Day. Bet you will look at those aisles of mass produced cards you pick up at the grocery store in a whole new way now. Spread the love!
With Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday this year, that means President’s Day is the next day because it’s the 3rd Monday of the February. Back to back holidays! Ever wonder why a lot of our holidays are celebrated on a Monday? Well, you aren’t the only one that enjoys a nice long 3 day weekend. In 1968, Congress signed a measure called the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Wherein, the celebration and observance of several federal holidays would be honored on predetermined Mondays throughout the year, rather than on the original day of the event, or birthday in this case. George Washington’s birthday to be exact, now remembered by our country on the 3rd Monday of February. The idea behind moving holidays to the same Monday every year is to reduce employee absenteeism for the nation’s federal workers. It also resulted in a rise in retail sales as well, which in turn boosted the economy. Who doesn’t love a good excuse for a 3 day sale?
The real birthday of the First President of the United States is February 22nd. In 1800, a year after his death, the first observance of his birthday took place, as he was highly regarded in his time as one of the most important figures in our history. However, it didn’t become an official federal holiday until 1879 when it was written into law joining the likes of the only other 4 federal holidays at the time and the first official holiday celebrating the life of an individual American. But how did it go from just George Washington’s birthday to President’s Day you ask? Well, it started when another very much admired President joined the ranks with a February birthday, Abraham Lincoln. Both made great contributions to our country and with birthdays just 10 days apart, it became a little much celebrating on Feb 12th and then again on the 22nd. So they combined the two onto one day. In some states it’s still called Washington’s birthday. In some it’s Lincoln’s birthday. Other it’s Washington-Lincoln birthday. But it all has the same meaning. To remember the first President of the United States and his great contributions and honor the efforts made by Lincoln towards keeping us the United States of America. While some people think sharing the day takes away from the greatness of each man, we think it only adds to the love we feel for the awesome forefathers that helped form our country.
To get in the spirit of February, might we suggest making your Valentine a red, white and blue masterpiece for a President’s Day crossover Valentine card. They are back to back holidays this year, falling on the 14th and 15th! Snap a picture of your patriotic valentines and send them to us. We’d love to share them. Now that’s what we call love here at World of Liberty!