February 22nd George Washington’s Birthday

Today is the original President’s Day, it’s George Washington’s birthday. Washington was born in 1732. He spent most of his life before the Revolution as a soldier and planter, and in 1789 he became the first President of the United States. He had been offered to be made King but refused it realizing, among other things, the world did not need another King George! He would be President until 1797 when he retired, dying two years later on December 14th, 1799.

How to celebrate – Have a piece of cherry pie. Read about Washington’s life. Visit Mount Vernon.

February 22nd George Washington’s Birthday

Today is George Washington’s birthday… well, since he’s not around anymore it was George Washington’s birthday. He was born February 22nd, 1732. He was a wealthy farmer and soldier before the Revolutionary War and led the meager American forces during the revolution.

The war ended in 1781 meaning Washington was 49 when peace came about. Back then, that was considered fairly old. He became President in 1787, six years later so that would have made him 55. Many wanted to make him King but I think he had seen enough of a King George during the war and refused.Being the first of anything is tough and I cannot even imagine what it must have been to be the first President.

Washington died in 1799. He was 67 or maybe 68. A life well lived. He wasn’t perfect but then… who is?

How to celebrate – Throw a George Washington birthday party. Visit Williamsburg. Make some cherry pie.

February 20th National Cherry Pie Day

Today is a day to celebrate America’s, or at least the United States, second most favorite pie, the cherry pie! Well, it is my favorite as I like it over apple, the most popular according to the polls. And while apple pie is considered the American pie, I believe cherry pie should be America’s pie.

After all, George Washington featured the cherry tree, which makes the cherry, which makes the cherry pie! Johnny Appleseed came along a long time afterwards! Of course, the cherry blossom is big in Japan so maybe that’s why they chose the apple pie… I don’t know. I think the important thing here is that someone made a study of what pie American’s liked best… like that was really important.

There is nothing like a warm piece of cherry pie with some vanilla ice cream on a cool winter’s evening!

How to celebrate – Have a piece of cherry pie. Find out the truth behind George Washington’s claim to have chopped down a cherry tree. Try a cherry tart!

February 18th President’s Day

Today we celebrate all the President’s birthdays. It’s not just supposed to be George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, though the day falls between their real birthdays, but it is meant to be a celebration of all the President’s birthdays.

So what do you get for the most powerful man in the world for his birthday? Well, currently it would be a wall but for most it’s probably more votes. That is, of course, unless they have already served two terms and cannot serve again. Then it appears most of them want a library of all thy accomplished during their service. In some cases, that would be a pretty small library!

These are, so far, great men (And someday great women) regardless of the fact that they held important positions that made them rich before they became President. Maybe some day you won’t have to be rich to be President, but probably not in any of our lifetimes.

How to celebrate – President’s birthdays should be observed, so… observe it! See how many birthdays of presidents you can name. Throw a party for the Presidents, they probably won’t show up but you can still have a good time.

August 8th National Dollar Day

August 8th National Dollar Day

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It wasn’t until August 8th, 1786 that Congress implemented a national currency, each state printed their own money or used silver and gold to pay its debts before then.

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Originally most money were coins made from silver and gold to show it’s true value. The first dollar bill was printed in 1862, during the Civil War, and instead of George Washington it was Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase that appeared on the bill.

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Today there are mints that print the money in Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, West Point and Fort Knox.

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How to celebrate – Take out a dollar bill and inspect it, it’s supposed to have some really cool codes contained in the images. Look for the no longer printed $2.00 bill. You are supposed to turn in any gold or silver backs you find.

December 29th National Pepper Pot Day

Is it cold where you are? Need something hot to eat to warm you up? Try some Pepper Pot Soup! It is a thick spicy soup first enjoyed during the American Revolution at Valley Forge.

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George Washington ordered his chef to prepare a meal for the troops that were hungry and freezing in their winter camp. The desertion rate continued to grow, not because the troops were afraid of the British but because they could no longer stand the cold which they were ill equipped for. The chef basically threw everything he could get his hands on into the soup, tripe being the main ingredient along with bits of other meat and peppercorn.

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Desertion was no longer the issue at Valley Forge, neither was the cold… both being replaced by trying to find a way to put out the fire in the soldiers mouth! The dish was served on December 29th, 1777 and we have celebrate it since then as “The soup that won the war!”

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Also known as “The Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup” you can either make it up yourself with this recipe, or buy it prepared from a number of different soup companies.

How to celebrate – Spice up your life and fix some Pepper Pot Soup for your family. Visit Valley Forge. Research what Tripe really is.

July 4th Independence Day

Today, on July 4th, 1776, we Americans proclaimed our freedom from Britain. Whether the reasons or thoughts behind the war were justified or not, for the next 7 years our country would be at war, finally ending on September 3rd, 1783.

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Though Thomas Jefferson presented his declaration for signing on July 4th the document was not signed by all of the Continental Congress until August. Travel time and weather prevented all the signatures from actually be done on the same day.

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The Siege of Yorktown ended the war. This could not have happened without the assistance of the French, particularly their navy who kept British rescue ships from reaching the troops trapped inside the fortress. This is not to diminish the efforts of the Americans who were mainly farmers and townsfolk who fought the professional armies from Europe. The few soldiers in America divided themselves being loyal to England and the freedom fighters.

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Though in thought, and mind, we remained very British, we were different simply because of the needs and challenges facing Americans. Europe was set in their life styles while Americans were still discovering new lands.

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Today we celebrate with fireworks, among other traditions, brought on by the Star Spangled Banner, though Francis Scott Key did not write the anthem until the War of 1812, the rockets red glare over the fort at Baltimore. Since it was still against England, I guess it counts!

How to celebrate – Go to a fireworks show. (If you do fireworks of your own be careful. I have seen people blow their fingers off trying to do their own.) Have a picnic. (Which many civilians did while watching the battles take place in front of them during the war.) If just for today, take pride in being American.