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

While most calendars refer to it as Presidents’ Day, the official federal designation is Washington’s Birthday, moved by law in 1971 from his actual birth date of Feb 22nd to the 3rd Monday of the month to always fall between Washington’s birth date and Abraham Lincoln’s on the 12th.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, in his Presidents’ Day message, says the holiday allows us to “gratefully recall the lives of the leaders who’ve held our nation’s highest office.”

Ricketts singles out Washington and Lincoln for remembrance and says that “as we reflect on their lives, let’s give thanks for the legacy of liberty they have given us and let’s build on this heritage so that the United States continues to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

About a dozen states have officially adopted the Presidents’ Day name…most to also recognize Abraham Lincoln, but some to honor all the men who’ve held the office.

For Panhandle public schools, it’s a day off for students but an in-service day for teachers – the 34th annual Educational Service Unit 13 Mid-Winter Conference with over 1,350 participants registered at 4 sites in 3 cities – the Harms Center at WNCC and Scottsbluff High School in Scottsbluff, the Gering Civic Center, and the Chadron State Student Center Ballroom.

Dozens of sessions are being held – some in the morning, some in the afternoon, and some running all day with both local experts and national consultants. Some are content-specific, but most are general topics chosen to appeal to a larger variety of participants – including Chadron State students.

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