I was prompted to offer the Lincoln’s Birthday greetings below by a mention of the birthday on one of the blogs I read. Other than that, I would have missed it entirely. No one I saw today said anything about it, today’s LA Times ignored it, and a Google News search comes up almost entirely dry.
That’s perfectly natural. The Presidents’ Day holiday collapses what used to be two meaningful celebrations into one more meaningless long weekend. (Do we really intend to honor Millard Fillmore and Warren G. Harding?) Bad move, say I. The same goes for moving holidays around so they always fall on Mondays, rather than on the days they’re supposed to commemorate.
The problem is that people prefer three-day weekends to midweek holidays, and the total number of legal holidays is constrained by cost considerations on the employer side. Years ago, I saw a very clever proposal: celebrate every holiday on the relevant date. If the holiday falls on Monday or Friday, it produces the desired three-day weekend naturally. If the holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, make the Monday or Friday a holiday as well, making a four-day weekend. The extra days off work are exactly made up for by not “moving” the holidays that fall on weekends. One holiday in seven will fall on a Wednesday, producing an undesirable midweek holiday. Surely that’s not too heavy a price to pay in return for actually celebrating what we intend to celebrate?
And while we’re at it, let’s restore the proper names of Decoration Day and Armistice Day, and bring back Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s Birthday instead of Presidents’ Day. The economy could stand it.
Actually, that wouldn’t be a bad issue for some Democrat to pick up. Let the Party of Lincoln choose between honoring its founder (and the Father of Our Country) and pimping for its donors and its neo-Confederate wing. Perfect!