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‘The Meaning of George Washington’s Birthday’

Monday is George Washington’s birthday, and it is Washington we should be celebrating—that model of character, principle and prudence.  And there is no better place to start than an extraordinary new collection, “The Meaning of George Washington’s Birthday,” by my AEI colleague Leon Kass and his wife, Amy Kass of the Hudson Institute. As part of their ongoing American Calendar project, the Kasses draw on speeches, stories, and writings about Washington to explore the history of his birthday holiday and follow his career from military scout, to colonial farmer, to general, to president of the United States. In so doing, they make a powerful case for Washington’s greatness, and why he should remain, in the famous words of Henry Lee, “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”


George Washington, the State of the Union, and Presidents’ Day

As the pundits take the next few days to discuss President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night, we thought we’d highlight a new ebook out by our friends at What So Proudly We Hail celebrating the president who gave the nation’s first State of the Union speech: George Washington.


Citizenship and civic education in the news

A round-up of citizenship and civic education happenings:

  • The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has released a new report: “The Engaged Citizen Index: Examining the Racial and Ethnic Civic and Political Engagement of Young Adults.”
  • Need an example of bad citizenship? Slate’s Joel Warner writes about his effort to use jury-selection science to get out of jury duty.
  • Yesterday, the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy held a hearing on H.R. 2268, which proposes “to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide that Washington’s Birthday be observed on February 22 [the day of his actual birth], rather than the third Monday in February, of each year.”
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Celebrating Washington’s birthday

George Washington was born on this day, February 22, in 1732. Today, take some time to read from his Farewell Address, which he delivered on September 19, 1796, before retiring to Mt. Vernon after completing his second term as President of the United States.


Event re-cap: First Among Equals

At an event on Friday sponsored by the AEI Program on American Citizenship in celebration of George Washington’s birthday, leading American political thinkers came together to discuss Washington’s  presidency and the importance to the nation of having a time set apart to remember and appreciate its founders.


Reminder: Come celebrate George Washington’s birthday with us

Calling all our friends in the Washington, D.C. area: this Friday, we will be celebrating George Washington’s birthday with a panel discussion at AEI. The event, which is open to the public, is titled “First Among Equals: George Washington and the American Presidency,” and will feature an introduction by Amy A. Kass (Hudson Institute), a reading from George Washington’s Farewell Address by Leon R. Kass (AEI), and remarks by Diana Schaub (Loyola University Maryland), Richard Brookhiser (National Review), Harvey Mansfield (Harvard University), and Steven F. Hayward (AEI).


Upcoming Event: First Among Equals

The third Monday in February has come to be known–wrongly–as Presidents’ Day, an annual excuse for a three-day weekend and big-ticket sales. In one of a series of events and conversations about the meaning of the American calendar, Amy A. Kass (Hudson Institute) and Leon R. Kass (AEI) seek to restore America’s fading national memory with a celebration of the holiday by its original and proper name: Washington’s Birthday.