Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22 ~ Washington’s actual day of birth ~ the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present. To see a listing of all U.S. presidents go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents. Click on each president to find out who they were and what they achieved during their presidency. Most American school children have to learn their presidents so this is a great site to go through with them and test their knowledge! Have fun. You may learn something new.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream Quote
Here is a great link about the history of this special day including a biography of Dr. King, a quiz for kids and a junior crossword. Maybe you can do something special with the kids to acknowledge the day: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/mlkjrday1.html
To read the full I Have a dream Speech go to:
Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1863 when Lincoln became the first president to proclaim Thanksgiving Day. The holiday has been a fixture of late November ever since. The Pilgrims who sailed to this country aboard the Mayflower were originally members of the English Separatist Church. They had earlier fled their home in England and sailed to Holland (The Netherlands) to escape religious persecution. Seeking a better life, the Separatists negotiated with a London stock company to finance a pilgrimage to America.
The Pilgrims set ground at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. Their first winter was devastating. They lost 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower. But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast – including 91 native Americans who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. It is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the native Americans. The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival and lasted three days.
It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Thanksgiving today. Hale wrote many editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies’ Magazine, and later, in Godey’s Lady’s Book. Finally, after a 40-year campaign of writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents, Hale’s obsession became a reality when, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving.
To Learn more about the history and traditions of this holiday go to:
http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/videos#history-of-the-thanksgiving-holiday. Find fun activities to do with the children here:
Interested in finding out more about hosting an au pair? Come to this expo which will be held at the Holy Grounds Youth Center located at 623 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd in Severna Park. This expo will provide valuable information related to simplifying the care of the home and family through information-packed exhibits from 27 local businesses whose focus is making your life easier. Hosting an au pair provides an extra set of loving hands in the care of your children ~ getting them off to school, music lessons and sports practices. Come and speak to au pairs that are currently placed with their host families.
The Annapolis cluster twice a month meets at a local Starbucks in Severna Park, MD to get together informally for a cup of coffee. It is a wonderful opportunity for au pairs to get together and meet new au pairs who have just arrived to our cluster. Au pairs share information about what classes they are taking, where to take classes, travel opportunities and upcoming weekend festivities. The au pairs have the chance to share their experience with the new arrivals and offer tips and suggestions on how to have a great year with their host families and what to expect. Phone numbers are exchanged and play-dates are set! This is also a good time to ask me, their counselor, any questions that they may have about any aspect of the program. Personally it gives me the chance to get to know the girls a little bit better in a relaxed environment. I love the fact that it feels like I’m having coffee with many daughters at once!