In 1971, Congress declared the third Monday in February of each year to be Presidents Day. Prior to that date, starting in 1885 a legal holiday was held to celebrate the birthday of our first president, George Washington, on the 22nd of February. One year after the shocking assassination of Abraham Lincoln in April 1865, a celebration was started in honor on his birthday on the 12th of February; however this was never a nationwide holiday. Since then, Presidents Day has been more popular and widely recognized to honor all presidents of America. These two days seem to be merged as one in the public concept even though some places still share the original Feb. 22 to celebrate the birthday of their first president.
Here’s a “did you know” game about Presidents Day: Did you know George Washington was the only president elected unanimously? Did you know that John Adams died on the same day as Thomas Jefferson, July 4, 1826 and that this date was the 50th anniversary of the approval of the Declaration of Independence? Did you know that James Madison and George Washington are the only presidents that signed the Constitution? Did you know that Thomas Jefferson was an accomplished architect and designed his famous home, Monticello, as well as buildings for the University of Virginia? Did you know that James Madison was the shortest president at 5 foot 4 inches and only weighed 100 pounds?
Ready for more? Here are some more Presidential facts: Did you know that Franklin D. Roosevelt met President Grover Cleveland when he was just 5 years old? Cleveland said “I am making a wish for you. It is that you may never become president of the United States.” Had you heard that on the day Lincoln was shot, he told his bodyguard that he had dreamt he would be assassinated? Who was the youngest man to be elected president? If you guessed John F. Kennedy you are correct. JFK was also the only president who was a Boy Scout. What president won a Grammy Award? Barack Obama won in 2006 for his voice on the audio book “Dreams of my Father.” Who was the only president to hold a MBA degree? George W. Bush. What president had the most children? John Tyler had 15 children; the White House must have been hopping back in the day!
The Arcanum Garden Club’s Purse Poppy Bingo will be held on March 15 at 7 p.m. at the Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical House; all proceeds will go for the beautification of the New Ag building and the village of Arcanum beautification projects. The grand prize is a pearl, white-pebbled tote by Coach valued at $350. Tickets are on sale now at The Rose Post and from any garden club member – for tickets please call Kornelia Barnett 692-5504, Abby Cutright 654-2965, Kathy Fout 692-5583, Carolyn Furlong 548-6556, Amy Jeffers 603-3785, Connie Norris 692-8085, Jenny Quigney 459-090, Sue Stammen 692-0164, or Linda Schwieterman at 417-9816.
Bear Mill’s Annual SOUP ‘N BOWL Event will be held Saturday, March 23. Seatings will be at 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Come and enjoy soup, bread, dessert and take home a handmade pottery bowl. Tickets for members are $25, for non-members are $30. Tickets will go on sale Thursday, Feb. 21. Just come in or call the mill at 937-548-5112 to purchase your tickets. Remember the mill is open Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The historic mill is located at 6450 Arcanum-Bears Mill Road, just 6 miles north of Arcanum.
Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society will host Jerry Stichter on Thursday, March 14 starting at 7 p.m. Jerry is a well-known local auctioneer with many years of experience. Have questions about what to do with collectible items or antiques you’ve accumulated over the years and want to downsize? You’ll have the opportunity to question Jerry about his expertise after 40 years in the business as an appraiser and an auctioneer.
Did you get your tickets yet? On March 7 the Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society will host the Darke County Center of the Arts Coffee House series with Lee Murdock. Lee is a talented instrumentalist on six and 12 string guitars and maintains ragtime, Irish, blues and folk styles with a flair for storytelling. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at DCCA, Fourman’s Variety Store and at the door.
Here are a few little known facts about the month of February: 1. The flower called a “snowdrop” sometimes is seen in February and is said to be a sign of hope. 2. Native Americans in the Great Lakes region of America (Hurons and 6 Nations) call a full moon on the 28th day of February a “Snow Moon” because heavy snowfalls are seen many years at this time. 3. The Supreme Court met for the first time on Feb. 1, 1790. 4. Our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, was born Feb. 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. 5. Astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr. became the first American to orbit the earth on Feb. 20, 1962.
“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” ~George Washington
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” ~Abraham Lincoln
Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-692-6188, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.