Happy Presidents Day – Or George Washington’s Birthday


   Today is a national holiday – either Presidents’ Day or George Washington’s Birthday, depending on the state –  with federal, state, and county offices closed. 

     There’s no mail delivery, and banks and other financial institutions are closed. Some cities and school districts observe the holiday, others do not. 

     While the official federal designation for the holiday is Washington’s Birthday, most calendars refer to it as Presidents’ Day to honor all the men who’ve held the office.

     Congress moved Washington’s Birthday in 1971 from his actual birthdate of Feb 22nd to the 3rd Monday of the month to always fall between Washington’s birthday and Abraham Lincoln’s on the 12th.

    Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, in his Presidents’ Day message, says it’s fitting that the holiday falls between the birthdays of two of the nation’s most revered leaders. 

     He singles out Washington and Lincoln for their strength of character, leadership, and dedication to the country, saying “let’s remember their conviction that America’s strength springs from its goodness.  

     As President Lincoln advised, ‘Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.’”

      For Panhandle public schools, it’s a day off for students but an in-service day for teachers – the 36th annual Educational Service Unit 13 Mid-Winter Conference, offering a combination of in-person and virtual sessions.

    The 3 primary presentations –  “Discipline in the Secondary Classroom,” “Strengthening Partnerships to Strengthen Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Learning,” and “Three Cheers for Professional Staff” – are offered virtually to allow more participants at more locations.

      Morning sessions run from 9-11:30 with afternoon sessions from 12:30-3:00. Locations include Chadron State College, 4 high schools – Gering, Crawford, Hemingford, and Scottsbluff – the Gering Civic Center, and the Harms Center at WNCC