How Presidents Day came to be

February 16, 2010 

Would you be in a royal snit if people started going around changing your birthday? Probably not — if you were Zsa Zsa Gabor, who, by the way, is 93. George Washington’s birthday used to be celebrated on the actual date of his birth: Feb. 22. But about 30 years ago Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. And since Washington and Abraham Lincoln were both born in February, we now have the collective Presidents Day on the third Monday of this month. 

I have always admired George Washington for the courage and valor he seemed to possess. He must have been a great inspiration to all who knew him. He was also the first American citizen to have a federal holiday named after him. In 1791, Washington’s friend, the French artist and engineer Major Pierre L’Enfant, was given the honor of designing the city we now know as Washington, D.C. I could go on and on but the Internet is at your fingertips.

• If you would like to learn to sew or knit, Sisters Sit n’ Sew on Calhoun Street will begin lessons Friday. First up, a hands-on sewing class will be offered at 9 a.m. Saturday. In addition, the shop offers all sorts of fabrics, sewing notions and knitting supplies. Call 843-706-6115 for information.

• The third annual Hilton Head Monthly Bridal Showcase is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Colleton River Plantation Club in Bluffton. You can learn all about hairdos, makeup, caterers and just about everything you’ll need for your special day. In addition, the Tucker Agency will present a fashion show featuring the latest in bridal fashions. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Call 843-842-6988, ext. 265.

• I am fascinated by migrating animals. Arctic terns migrate from the Southern Ocean to their breeding grounds in the Arctic — a round trip of about 25,000 miles. Arctic terns weigh less than 4 ounces, but scientists have developed lightweight tags that can be used to document their travels. In all, 11 terns have been fitted with these tags, one of which traveled 50,700 miles, the longest animal migration ever recorded electronically.

• Architects and federal officials in Portland, Ore., are planning one of the world’s biggest vertical gardens, a wall of living architecture about 150 feet tall.

Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for the Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.

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