The point I'm trying to make here is that by focusing class work on Lincoln and Washington on the days they were actually born, we were prodded to do some serious thinking. Not only about our two greatest presidents, but also about the two epic struggles they did so much to define: the Revolutionary War that brought us independence from Britain, and the Civil War that preserved the Union and put an end to slavery. And that, by any criterion, must be regarded as a definite plus.
Now, I fear, much of that focus has been lost, especially since this thing we call "Presidents' Day Observed" is a formal national holiday, which means that most kids don't even have to go to school that day.
To underscore the point, let me put a question to those of you who are parents. Assume, for the moment, that you have two children, both born in the same month, and instead of giving them presents on their actual birthdays, you opted for a joint celebration on the nearest Monday and called it "Offsprings' Day Observed."
Or, even more unsettling, assume that your mother and mother-in-law were born in the same month and you adopted a similar scenario for saying Happy Birthday to them. Not exactly a formula for family harmony, is it?