On This Date in History: On February 22, 1732 George Washington was born. His birthday used to be a national holiday until a few years ago when it was determined that there needed to be a birthday holiday for Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The government did not want to increase the number of holidays so they eliminated the holidays for the birth of President Lincoln and President Washington and combined the two into a holiday commemorating all presidents and they called it President’s Day. That is utter nonsense. I mean, do we need a day to remember Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce and Chester A. Arthur? If they wanted to eliminate a day, it could have been Columbus Day. I suppose they didn’t want so may holidays in January and February.
Recently, they came out with another poll of historians ranking the presidents. Lincoln came out on top followed by Washington. In my mind, General Washington is and always should be at the top of the list. In many regards, if it were not for him, there very well may not have been a President Lincoln, or William Henry Harrison or Warren G. Harding. He should be studied more in school and his day should remain. Instead of using my words to put out a biography, instead, I am choosing on this day to commemorate his birth and life with some verbiage put out by historian David Hackett Fischer from Washington’s Crossing; (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) 7-8.
“He was a big man, immaculate in dress, and of such charismatic presence that he filled the street even when he rode alone. A crowd gathered to watch him go by, as if he were a one-man parade. Children bowed and bobbed to him. Soldiers called him ‘Your Excellency,’ a title rare in America. Gentlemen doffed their hats and spoke his name with deep respect: General Washington.”
“As he came closer, his features grew more distinct. In 1776, we would not have recognized him from the Stuart painting that we know too well. At the age of forty-two, he looked young, lean, and very fit-more so than we remember him. He had the sunburned, storm-beaten face of a man who lived much of his life in the open. His hair was a light hazel-brown, thinning around the temples. Beneath a high forehead, a broad Roman nose bore a few small scars of smallpox. People remembered his soft blue-gray eyes, set wide apart and deep in their sockets. The lines around his eyes gave an unexpected hint of laughter. A Cambridge lady remarked on his ‘appearance of good humor.’ A Hessian observed that a ‘slight smile in his expression when he spoke inspired affection and respect.’ Many were impressed by his air of composure and surprised by his modesty.”
We could use General Washington today. Without him, there may never have been a United States of America and the freedom that has spread around the world in the past two centuries may never have come to pass. May his life always be remembered in the singularity of respect that it deserves and demands.
Weather Bottom Line: Kinda interesting the snow on Saturday. Down by the river the rain fell first with a little sleet and then an extended period of snow. But the accumulation was little more than a dusting. On the east side of town, it looked more like an inch or so of accumulation as I suspect the ground temperatures fell to freezing sooner than the areas along the river. All in all, it turned out pretty much as expected though the airport did get to the upper 40’s before the snow fell.
GFS still insisting on light snow or flurries on Sunday. Really nothing much of consequence if we do get some passing snow showers. On Monday, there is some indication of a slight move above freezing for an hour or two but, as I’ve said before, if you’re not a thermometer you won’t know it and it won’t last long. Move to the low 40’s for Tuesday afternoon. Warmer Wednesday and toward 60 on Thursday. Some of the models are pushing back the threat of t’storms to late Thursday night. If that happens, any threat for strong storms will back off. While the rain chance in this scenario for Wednesday is diminished, I would still suggest that rain chances at least increase on Wednesday with a higher chance on Thursday. Colder, below seasonal conditions return for next weekend.