Monday, February 18, 2013

Where’s George?

Today, we are celebrating Presidents’ Day, a holiday that actually has its roots way back in 1879, when Congress first set aside a holiday honoring George Washington.

The first attempt to create a “President’s Day” occurred in 1951, when the “President’s Day National Committee” was formed. Its purpose was NOT to honor any particular individual, but the office of the Presidency.

In 1968, Congress attempted to pass legislation (the Uniform Monday Holiday Act) that would have honored both George Washington AND Abraham Lincoln (whose birthday had never been a national holiday). This new “Presidents’ Day” never became law, and the day remained “Washington’s Birthday”. Officially, that’s still what it is today.

By the mid 1980’s, the term Presidents’ Day began to make its appearance, due to a push from advertisers. At least a few states have changed the name of the holiday from “Washington’s birthday” to “Presidents’ Day”, but they are definitely in the minority.

The original “Washington’s birthday” holiday was celebrated on February 22, which was the actual date of Washington’s birth. The date of the holiday shifted to the third Monday in February in 1971, which places it between Lincoln’s birthday (February 12) and Washington’s birthday.

Paper money has actually been used in America since 1690, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony issued the first paper money. It wasn’t until 1861 that the United States itself first issued paper money, which were called Demand Notes (nicknamed “greenbacks”). They continued to be printed until 1971.

The very first dollar bill was issued in 1862 - but it didn’t have George Washington’s picture on it. It actually contained a portrait of Samuel P. Chase, who was the Secretary of the Treasury, and it looked like this:

In 1869, it was redesigned, and George Washington’s portrait replaced Samuel Chase on the front side of the bill. THAT bill looked like this:

During my working career, I earned in excess of $1,250,000, according to my official Social Security Statement. If you pulled out YOUR statements, you’d probably be surprised at how much YOU have earned so far in your life., which brings up an interesting question:

Where did all that money go?

Following my dad’s example, I’ve always kept a monthly budget, so I have at least a rough idea of how my monthly income gets spent. Wouldn’t it be fun, though, it you could actually see all the places your hard earned dollars have traveled to?

Believe it or not, you can.

There’s a website called “wheres” that will allow you to track where your dollars actually travel to. Naturally, you’ll need to set up a user name and a password to get in, but after that, it’s an easy process.

You can either mark your own bills (write along one of the edges), and send them on their way, or you can track bills that someone else has already marked.

Either way, though, you’ll finally have an opportunity to use the following phrase:

No comments:

Post a Comment