Bartlett pushes for separate holidays

February 17, 2007|by TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Calling Presidents Day a big lie and a historical myth, U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett has renewed his push for separate recognition of the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

"A generic Presidents Day diminishes the accomplishments of America's greatest presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, while rewarding the mediocrity of others," Bartlett, R-Md., said in a press release.

Presidents Day, a federal holiday, is observed on the third Monday in February. It falls on Feb. 19 this year.

Bartlett has reintroduced legislation, the Washington-Lincoln Recognition Act, which would direct all federal agencies to refer to the third Monday in February as Washington's Birthday. The congressman said that's the legal name of the observance, not Presidents Day.

He called Presidents Day a big lie.

"There would be no Declaration of Independence, no United States of America, no Constitution and no Presidency at all without George Washington," Bartlett said in the release. "He is also the only president elected unanimously, not once, but twice."


Presidents Day is a "historical myth" that "eliminates Washington's indispensable greatness from our conversations, news stories and school lessons about this federal holiday," Bartlett said.

The bill also asks the president to issue a proclamation every year recognizing Lincoln's birthday on Feb. 12.

Bartlett has been pushing the bill since the 2001-02 congressional session, according to the release.

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