Sunday, February 17, 2013

Presidents Day Trivia: Reflecting on the True Meaning of the February Holiday

Are you happy "Presidents Day" is here? Are you glad to have a three-day weekend? As you enjoy your day off work (if your employer respects "Presidents Day"), I'm sure you'll reflect on the (ahem) immense achievements of (cough) great Presidents like Warren G. Harding, Martin Van Buren, James Buchanan, and Millard Fillmore.

For those who may need help understanding what "Presidents Day" is really all about, I prepared this little 10-question quiz for you. A little "Presidents Day" trivia to help you remember why we have a day off in February. Here we go...

  1. Which President came to office with a unanimous vote of the Electoral College, representing the overwhelming consensus of the American people?
  2. Which President was elected overwhelmingly without campaigning for the office of President? He was truly the reluctant statesmen. 
  3. Which President came to office without the benefit of having ANY predecessors from which to draw example? He had to set all the precedents and be the example to future Presidents himself? 
  4. Which Chief Executive presided over the creation of a stable American economy with a sound currency --- from SCRATCH? 
  5. Which Commander-in-Chief put down the Whiskey Rebellion, which was our nation's first domestic insurrection and could've (if left unchecked) led to the disintegration of the Union before the 18th century even came to a close!? 
  6. Which President said that "religion and morality" are "indispensable supports" to "prosperity"? A man known for his immense character, he set the important precedent that no one is qualified to lead a nation unless he can first govern his own passions and temptations -- and submit himself to a Higher Authority. 
  7. Which President steered our nation down a path of careful neutrality, keeping us from getting embroiled in the bloodbath of the French Revolution and from getting into a renewed war with Great Britain - something that would've been absolutely devastating to the nascent United States? 
  8. Which President (before he became President) led a rag-tag, ill-equipped, poorly-fed, and (initially) poorly trained "army" of farmers, peasants, shopkeepers, teenagers, etc. to victory over the mightiest empire in the world? This accomplishment alone, something he achieved before becoming President, were enough to make him the truly indispensable man in American history. 
  9. Which President could have EASILY become dictator or king, but flatly refused -- opting instead to reluctantly accept the presidency in a constitutional Republic based on shared powers with checks and balances? 
  10. Which President set the precedent of serving only two terms (in spite of the fact that he easily could have been reelected to a third)? 

If you don't know the answers to the preceding ten questions, well...that's because we celebrate "Presidents Day" each year instead of the holiday's original purpose. So, sit back and enjoy a day that has tragically become the most meaningless "holiday" on our calendar -- a heavily commercialized day that symbolizes so poignantly how many Americans are out of touch with their heritage and shamelessly ungrateful for it.

2 comments:

Elektra Tig said...

Brian,

I get your point and don't disagree, but I do have to register a brief protest against your inclusion of Millard Fillmore on what amounts to a list of worst presidents. Try here for some posts explaining why Millard was a fine man and a good president.

Pam Anderson said...

Very good, Mr. Tubbs. Just thought I'd throw in a bit of trivia. I grew up in the Washington DC suburbs and "Persidents Day" then known as Washingtons Birthday, was a really big deal. Pres. Washington's reputation for honesty became an enormous PR campaign for local businesses. Thus began the "Presidents Day" sales. Huge sales took advantage of the number 22, the date of Pres. Washinton's birthday. I once bought a beautiful sterling silver brooch of 22 cents. A car dealer ship in Alexandria always sold a used car for $22 to the first person there. This all took place in the 50's but even then, they were excellent deals. I don't imagine that anyone today would understand prices of .22 - 22.00 or even $2,200.00 but it was a great time for us. How sad that so much truth has slipped away from us, along with the simple fun things! PS Love to you and your lovely wife!