Happy Labor Day!
"A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil." -Grover Cleveland
Image: Public Law 53-95: An Act Making Labor Day a Legal Holiday, June 28, 1894. General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives and Records Administration
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from General George Washington!
Issued March 16, 1780, this General Order by George Washington grants Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17th, as a holiday to the troops — “a day held in particular regard by the people of that Nation.”
George Washington’s General Order of March 16, 1780, granting Saint Patrick’s Day as a holiday to the troops.
Barney, Ready for His Close-Up
From 2002 through 2008, Barney and Miss Beazley (who came to the White House in 2004) hosted a series of holiday videos at the White House recorded by the White House Communications Agency.
The 2002 video being filmed in this photograph can be viewed on the Barney Cams page of the George W. Bush Library website.
Barney Tours the White House for the Barney-Cam Holiday Video, 12/09/2002
RIP Barney (September 30, 2000 - February 2013)
Small portions of the Christmas mail that is being sorted at Pier 86, North River, New York City, for the American Expeditionary Forces. The mail comes from every part of the country., 11/20/1918
With only a few days until Hanukkah and a little over a month until Christmas - have you finished your holiday shopping & letters? Have you even started?
Did you know that President Ford signed legislation to ensure Veterans Day wouldn’t fall on Monday every year?
Since World War I the United States traditionally commemorated Veterans Day on November 11, which had formerly been recognized as Armistice Day. The “Monday holiday” law passed in 1968 established a uniform holiday schedule for the Federal Government but as a consequence moved the observance of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October.
Although the official Federal holiday was observed on Mondays for several years many people continued to hold commemorations on November 11 as well. In September 1975 President Ford signed into law S.331 officially designating the original date as Veterans Day.
“I believe restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 will help preserve in the hearts and lives of all Americans the spirit of patriotism, the love of country and the willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good symbolized by this very special day,” President Ford said in his signing statement.
-from the Ford Library
There is no such thing as Presidents Day. Or President’s Day.
There is such a thing as Washington’s Birthday, and the National Archives Research Rooms in DC (but not the museum side) will be closed on Monday, February 19, in observance of this holiday.
“Before 1971, Washington’s Birthday was one of nine federal holidays celebrated on specific dates, which fell on different days of the week (the exception being Labor Day—the original Monday holiday). Then came the tinkering of the Ninetieth Congress in 1968. Determined to create a uniform system of federal Monday holidays, Congress voted to shift three existing holidays to Mondays and expanded the number further by creating one new Monday holiday.
Washington’s Birthday was uprooted from its fixed February 22 date and transplanted to the third Monday in February, followed by Memorial Day being relocated from the last day in May to the last Monday in May.
When a new federal law was implemented in 1971, only two days separated Abraham Lincoln’s Friday birthday of February 12 from the Washington’s Birthday holiday that fell on February 15—the third Monday in February.
For advertisers, the Monday holiday change was the goose that laid the golden “promotional” egg. Using Labor Day marketing as a guide, three-day weekend sales were expanded to include the new Monday holidays. Once the “Uniform Monday Holiday Law” was implemented, it took just under a decade to build a head of national promotional sales steam.
Local advertisers morphed both “Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday” and “George Washington’s Birthday” into the sales sound bite “President’s Day,” expanding the traditional three-day sales to begin before Lincoln’s birth date and end after Washington’s February 22 birth. In some instances, advertisers promoted the sales campaign through the entire month of February. To the unsuspecting public, the term linking both presidential birthdays seemed to explain the repositioning of the holiday between two high-profile presidential birthdays.”
For the full story, go to http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/winter/gw-birthday-1.html
Image: S. 623, A bill to make the 22nd day of February George Washington’s Birthday, RG 46, Records of the United States Senate. Text via the Center for Legislative Archives.
Choosing the appropriate Valentine’s Day card appears to have been a perennial problem, as observed by cartoonist Clifford Berryman 101 years ago:
"The Issue-Love or Laughter", 02/13/1912
Happy 12 Days of Archives! We hope you have enjoyed this brief tour through the National Archives holdings across the country.
On December 24, our museum side in Washington, DC, is open. Stop by and see the Constitution or our current exhibit “To the Brink.” (Research rooms are closed.)
On December 25, the National Archives—both research rooms and museum—will be closed.
“On the twelfth day of Archives an archivist brought to me:
Twelve soldiers who headed for Camp Funston
Eleven Marine Corps football players,
ten messengers playing poker
Eight Navy officers
seven of Mrs. Hicks’s eight children,
six tiny thorn carvings,
five sisters from Alaska,
four boys hanging out at the Fletcher aircraft school,
three happy girls at a West Virginian celebration,
two San Francisco children painting,
and one astronaut in space.”
Santa upgrades his sleigh for “Operation Christmas Drop”
Santa Claus (CAPT. Mike d’Albertis, 605th Military Airlift Support Squadron) and STAFF SGT. Tony Thompson, loadmaster with the 21st Tactical Airlift Squadron, watch as a Christmas Drop container is parachuted toward its destination. The annual airdrop is a humanitarian effort providing aid to needy islanders throughout Micronesia during the holiday season, 12/14/1990
SANTA 1, sleigh…is authorized to operate from the North Pole, in — around — and through all Enhanced Class B and Temporary Flight Restricted Airspace in the United States of America…
Ho ho ho!
Air Traffic Waiver for SANTA 1, 12/13/2001, GSA files, box 47, doc. RFAA03007856, Records of the 9/11 Commission
Arlington National Cemetery
The cemetery, administered by the Department of the Army, was designated an official military cemetery in 1864. More than 300,000 veterans from all of the nation’s wars are buried there.
- View in Arlington National Cemetery, ca. 1865 by Matthew Brady
- Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 30, 1961.