Social and Political Commentary

Our new holidays

... what become of the old?

by Jerry Norton

Our recent observance of M.L.King Day struck me (correct me if I'm wrong) as being the only birthday on our national calendar embracing the name of any American. What became of the observance of two famous names most of us have known since childhood? The birthdays of the Father Of Our Country and The Great Emancipator have been combined into an ambiguous term, "Presidents'Day". Probably fewer than half of all Americans under 40 years of age could correctly identify the two presidents alluded to under this title...."could it be like Millard Fillmore or is it like Rutherford B. Hayes or maybe like Warren G. Harding?" (Poor example as they wouldn't know these names either).

This misguided contraction of two of our greatest Americans' birthdays is not without purpose. It allows our government drones and bank employees three consecutive days off in which to go snow boarding or strolling the mall.

I expect American schoolrooms now have a portrait of King hanging on their walls. I hope they still have ones of Washington and Lincoln as well.

I know this little essay lacks the sanctifying grace of political correctness but, dear editors, let all voices be heard.

February 4, 2005

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