Washington’s Birthday

15-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, February 22, 1911: It was so awful cold this morning. I got to school before the doors were unlocked. There I had to stand outside and freeze, but the door was unlocked before I reached that point. That glorious sister of mine is in bed now. I will soon follow. Rufus has her eyes on me. Perhaps she is guessing what I am writing. Today is Washington’s birthday. I didn’t forget it. Don’t’ you think I’m very patriotic? 

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later: 

A hundred years ago Washington’s Birthday was celebrated on his actual birthday (February 22)—though it’s obvious from Grandma’s diary entry that is wasn’t considered an important enough holiday for school to be canceled. In 1971 the holiday was moved from Washington’s actual birthday to the 3rd Monday in February—and in many states it is now called Presidents Day in honor of both Washington’s  and Lincoln’s birthdays.

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