In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 15, 2010/ 1 Adar 5770

Confusion's day

By Tom Purcell

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I thought the purpose of Presidents Day was getting steep discounts on furniture and linen.

Ah, yes, you speak of the confusion surrounding that federal holiday. Snopes.com does a fine job clarifying what the day is really about: celebrating George Washington's birthday.

Who is this George Washington?

He was our first president, our best president. His birthday used to be celebrated with as much fervor as the Fourth of July.

That's a good holiday, too. It's when you can get steep discounts on cars and carpet.

In 1885, a bill established Washington's actual birthday, Feb. 22, as a federal holiday. But in 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill began the confusion. It created more three-day weekends for federal employees by moving Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day and Veterans Day from fixed calendar dates to designated Mondays — though Veterans Day was later moved back to Nov. 11. It also established Columbus Day, a new federal Monday holiday.

What happened to Abraham Lincoln's birthday?

Many think we celebrate both Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays on Presidents Day, but Lincoln's birthday was never designated a federal holiday, though it was recognized by many states. With two more federal holidays added — Columbus Day in 1971 and Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday in 1986 — some states stopped observing Lincoln's birthday altogether.

That's too bad. That was a great day to get steep discounts on televisions and radios.

As far back as the 1950s, there was talk of establishing a Presidents Day to celebrate both Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays, but it never happened. There was talk in 1968 about renaming Washington's Birthday as Presidents Day, but that never made it into the final Uniform Holidays Bill. Officially, it's still "Washington's Birthday." A spoof involving President Nixon added to the confusion.

Letter from JWR publisher

President Nixon?

Some claim a 1971 executive order he issued that defined the third Monday of February as a federal holiday created a holiday "to honor all presidents, even myself," but the order identified the holiday as "Washington's Birthday."

So if the third Monday of every February is Washington's Birthday, why can't we get it straight?

Because, as Snopes.com says, "some states still observe Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays as separate holidays, some observe only Washington's Birthday, some commemorate both with a single Presidents' Day (or Lincoln-Washington Day), and some celebrate neither."

Even though the third Monday in February is designated, by the federal government, as Washington's Birthday?

Correct. In Alabama, that day commemorates George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — and Jefferson was born in April!

Surely, someone can clear this mess up?

Snopes.com says some in Congress tried, with 2001's Washington-Lincoln Recognition Act. The bill, which wasn't successful, proposed that "the legal public holiday known as Washington's Birthday shall be referred to by that name and no other by all entities and officials of the United States Government" and that "the President issue a proclamation each year recognizing the anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln and calling upon the people of the United States to observe such anniversary with appropriate ceremonies and activities."

Goodness gracious, our government can't even resolve confusion about George Washington's birthday. How could it possibly improve our health care system?

Nicely put.

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© 2010, Tom Purcell