Presidents Day Fun Facts
Presidents Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February, and was established in recognition of George Washington. The federal government even refers to the national holiday as “Washington’s Birthday”. The holiday is traditionally celebrated in honor of Washington and Lincoln, who are widely regarded as some of the finest American presidents. However, in recent years, it has grown to become a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents. With that being said, here are some fun facts about Washington and Lincoln.
George Washington was well-known among his fellow Americans for his physical strength and fortitude as a leader. He was also known for suffering from severe dental troubles all of his life. At the young age of 24, Washington recorded in his diary that he paid a visit to a dentist to have one of his teeth removed. Later on in life, he would suffer from a wide variety of dental problems, including inflamed gums, aching teeth, and ill fitting dentures. While many have heard that his dentures were made out of wood, this fact is false. Throughout his life, Washington paid numerous dentists for different dentures made out of ivory, copper alloy, and even human teeth. At his home on Mount Vernon, the museum on site even has the only remaining pair of dentures that were worn by Washington on display.
Despite having a reputation for being an excellent military strategist, Washington had a more elegant skill very unlike battle: dancing. Washington was known for taking his performances on the dance floor very seriously. He was quoted as saying dancing is “the gentler conflict” when compared to war. In Virginia, dancing was a competitive sport that was beloved by all ages. As a teen, Washington was dancing regularly, and it is thought that he acquired his skills during his time living at his half-brothers estate. When he was a young officer in the military. Washington would often take the floor during a ball, and show-off his polished dancing skills, with guests going so far as to record a description of his performance in their diaries.
Lincoln is often credited as being the the most influential president in American history. He served as president in a time very different than Washington. He was assassinated on April 14, 1865 in at Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth. What many people don’t know is that he created the Secret Service hours before he was assassinated. Contrary to what the Secret Service is known for today (protecting the President, etc.), it was created in order to combat a widespread counterfeit problem, and would not of made of difference in saving his life.
Lincoln was keen on military gadgets during the civil war, and would often attend demonstrations of new artillery being used the military. He also would often test-fire rifles right outside of the White House on the lawn. At the time, there was a standing order against firing weapons in D.C., Lincoln never let this hold him back. He was always very involved in the affairs of the military, and had even been under fire from enemy combatants on a Civil War battlefield.