The Washington Post

Frank Wolf play Grinch on Presidents Day

A statue of George Washington at Federal Hall in New York City. (Andrew Kelly/Getty Images)

That’s no thanks to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who’s playing the role of the Grinch Who Wants to Steal President’s Day.

Wolf recently reintroduced a bill that would do away with the congressionally established Monday holiday (it’s set for the third Monday of the month) and instead designate it as Feb. 22 — the actual date of George Washington’s birthday. This year, that date falls on a Friday, which means we’d still have a three-day weekend. But that won’t happen every year.

Wolf thinks that by celebrating on an arbitrary Monday, the American people are missing out on the chance to truly remember the life and legacy of our first president (who, like Wolf, hails from the Commonwealth).

He bemoaned many school kids’ ignorance on the subject. “Congress has unwittingly contributed to this lack of historical understanding by relegating Washington’s Birthday to the third Monday of February to take advantage of a three-day weekend,” Wolf said in a statement entered into the Congressional Record. “We need to change the focus from celebrating sales at the mall to celebrating the significance of President Washington’s birth to the birth of our nation.”

Wolf even trotted out endorsements of the idea from presidential scholar and author David McCullough and from Jim Rees, the executive director of Mt. Vernon.

But what about all those great Presidents’ Day deals on mattresses?

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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