Monday, February 17, 2014
Who is your favorite President?
The question came up today because this is the Federal Holiday intended to commemorate Presidents.
Not long ago we celebrated the February birth dates of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln on their actual anniversaries. These two are often cited as our most favorite presidents, the gold standard by which American chief executives are measured. But their birth dates wandered all over the weekly calendar providing no consistent support for commercial or leisure interests.
So in 1971, during the first Nixon administration, we adopted a federal Presidents Day observance on the third Monday in February.
It is worth noting that 1971 was also the year in which America stopped exchanging federal reserve notes for gold at Fort Knox, and the year in which the U.S. Mint no longer struck silver coins for general use.
So now instead of opportunities to be inspired by memories of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, government employees get another day off, and the rest of us get a big sale down at the car lot.
Of course, if you do buy a new car today there is solace in the knowledge that your payments will be made using currency with absolutely no intrinsic value.
Who is my favorite President? Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President who held office from 1923 until 1929, and who most famously said, "Duty is not collective; it is personal."
Mr. Coolidge also said, "I have never been hurt by what I have not said."