Feb 16, 2014

Brave Heart

This year, President's Day will be celebrated tomorrow, on February 17. The holiday was created in 1885 to recognize George Washington's birthday, which occurs on February 22. Born in 1732, Washington led the War of Independence and was 57 years old when he became the first president of the United States in 1789.

Many clamored to make him a king, but Washington had the courage, integrity and foresight to look power in the eye and refuse the temptation. His brave heart and wise action established an essential principle: America needed strong leaders with limited powers not lifetime rulers. For that we owe him an eternal debt of gratitude.
In 1971, the federal government moved many national holidays to Mondays to give workers more three-day weekends throughout the year. The holiday was renamed President's Day and expanded to acknowledge Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809) and William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773). In 1981, Ronald Reagan (February 6, 1911) became the fourth president  born in February.

Washington and Lincoln were such transformative leaders, it's appropriate to celebrate them and their contributions. October holds the record, however, with six presidential birthdays, including John Adams, Rutherford Hayes, Chester Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter.

In recent years, President's Day has become primarily a bank, government and school holiday. Many companies opt instead to celebrate Martin Luther King day, which occurs each year on the third Monday in January. As a result of this trend, close to 80% of all businesses (particularly small and independent ones) will be on the job tomorrow as usual.

This simple heart-shaped coaster shown in red, white and blue combines two February themes: hearts and recognizing true leaders. Like most of what I'm knitting these days, it was fun, fast and supremely simple.

It makes a great addition to my growing collection of holiday dishcloths, hotpads and coasters (here, here and here). What can I say? Celebrating the red, white and blue is something Americans like to do year round. As an added bonus, the striped design allows me to productively use odd bits of yarn, where there's too little to do much with but too much to casually pitch.

The bottom line? I suspect you'll see more red, white and blue hearts in the future. Meanwhile, in the spirit of the holiday, celebrate someone you know who leads by example and has a heart that's brave and true.

The Sweet Hearts & Soft Spots pattern is now available.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. Love the "brave" heart and enjoyed learning about this holiday.


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