Happy President’s Day!. In my neck of the woods, public, parochial and private schools closed today. When I worked in child care, 2 of my employers closed the centers for this day. The other 2 wondered why would any child care closed for business on President’s Day. In my remaining child care years, I had to get use to not having the 3rd Monday off in this month, which meant unless I took a vacation or personal day, I worked straight from January to the Memorial Holiday in late May unless the center closed in the winter months due to heavy snow and/or ice weather conditions.
During my school years, schools closed on Feb. 12th and Feb. 22nd for Abraham Lincoln and George Washington respectively. It was not until 1971, when Presidents, Lincoln, Washington and the inclusion of all other U. S. Presidents fused into one day for celebration by the former and late President, Richard Nixon.
As we celebrate President’s Day, how much do you know about any of the U. S. Presidents? Go here to take a beginners’ level quiz on the Presidents. I got 1 wrong concerning 19th century presidential action on Native Americans. I scored at 90%.
Today, November, 22nd is the 48th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I remember when he was a the Democratic presidential nominee against Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee. I was only 9 years old during that election season and thus did not understand anything political. All I knew was that Pres. Eisenhower was for Nixon, the VP taking his place and wondered why my parents were for someone else name John Kennedy. Pres. I was more aware of Pres. Eisenhower and Vice Pres. Nixon with no awareness of John Kennedy. One of my parents told me that they were for Kennedy, because he was a Democrat. I was told that we (my parents) are always for the Democrat.
On this day 48 years ago, I was 12 years old. It was a Friday in 1963. My junior high school (long before the change to middle schools) dismissed the students an hour early at 2:00 p. m. on Fridays. I walked in the house around 2:25 p. m. eastern standard time to my grandmother shouting, “They shot the President!” My immediate response was, “What President?” A few minutes later, Walter Cronkite announced that Pres. Kennedy had died in Dallas, Texas via central standard time. I still remember the sunk feeling that compassed me. I wondered what was going to happen now.
Philly public schools closed until after the nationally televised funeral. Along with my parents, I sat glued to the TV. I remember watching the suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald being escorted and then viewing him being shot. My mother could not get over it. She kept saying, “We just saw a man actually get shot on live TV! Wow!”
I remember the adults in my life loved Kennedy, despite the fact that he voted against the 1957 Civil Rights Act. I think most are unaware of that fact. He was a Democrat for capitalism against the Russian communism. I do not think the kind of Democrat he was would sit well with the Democrats of today.
Let’s take a little trip back in history to see a few events that took place on this date.
- 1817 – Simon Bolivar established the independent government of Venezuela.
I learned this fact in the 5th grade. Is this type of history taught anymore?
- 1831 – Escaped slave Nat Turner apprehended in Southampton County, VA, several weeks after leading the bloodiest slave uprising in American history.
I first heard of Nat Turner near the end of high school in the late 60s.
- 1938 – Orson Welles’ “The War of the Worlds” aired on CBS radio. The belief that the realistic radio dramatization was a live news event about a Martian invasion caused panic among listeners.
Can you imagine how people got a few things together and started running and hiding! Where could they go for safety!
- 1954 – The last All-Negro unit abolished in the desegregation of the Army in 1954.
My father served during World War II when the armed forces were completely segregated. He talked often about his returns to his unit in the south from Philly and having to go to the ragged, dusty “colored” coaches when the train pulled in to Washington, D. C.. Just think, our country’s capital was the boundary for where you could travel into legal segregation!
- 1972 – U.S. President Richard Nixon approved legislation to increase Social Security spending by $5.3 billion.
Yes, Republican Presidents have contributed their share in increasing entitlement spending.
- 1975 – The New York Daily News ran the headline “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” The headline came a day after U.S. President Gerald R. Ford said he would veto any proposed federal bailout of New York City.
I did not like Gerald R. Ford, but I liked his wife, Betty. When I saw his record of voting against government programs for blacks and the poor, I was reacting from a liberal perspective. Due to my growing conservatism, I no longer dislike Gerald R. Ford.
- 1976 – Joseph H. Evans became the first black leader of the United Church of Christ.
In true Christianity, people will come under Christ centered leadership regardless of human leaders’ race or ethnicity.
- 1979 – Richard Arrington elected as the first black mayor of Birmingham, Alabama.
Remember 20 years earlier, Birmingham, Alabama was legally racially segregated and KKK dominated.
- 1991 – While still black owned (Robert Johnson) Black Entertainment becomes the first black-controlled company on the New York Stock Exchange selling 4.2 million shares.
BET was easier to watch back then. I watched the news discussion programs, which were liberal,left bent. Now remember, I was on the liberal side in 1991. BET programing really declined in quality. The channel has grown up the raunchy meter. The news programing regardless of ideology should still be a part of the channel. Currently, I occasionally catch an award show or a movie on the channel.