President’s Day

Contrary to advertisements, only one of these guys gets his own federal holiday!

We just finished Valentine’s Day and another holiday is upon us. If you’re thinking, “Presidents Day,” press the buzzer indicating an incorrect answer now. Even though we’ll see commercial after commercial advertising Presidents Day specials, there is no such thing. There never has been. It has always been officially called “Washington’s Birthday.”

Come to think of it, our first president deserves a holiday all to himself. He led the colonies to victory over the British, he was the father of our country, and he was a big time fan of ice cream. OK, that last one may not be something one lists towards the top of a resume, but it’s another plus in his “pro’s” column if you ask me.

George Washington’s love for ice cream was second only to his love for his country. Come to think of it, Martha Washington should be number one or two. I guess that puts his love for ice cream around third or fourth. OK, throw in some close personal relationships, and ice cream slips a little lower — but never out of the top ten.

If you doubt me, consider that our first president once paid approximately $200 for ice cream. If you think that’s a lot these days, imagine what it was in 18th Century dollars.

The ice house at Mount Vernon.

Need a little more persuading our founding father had a sweet tooth for ice cream? I present exhibit B — his Mount Vernon icehouse. This was built on the riverbank near his home just so he could enjoy the occasional bowl of ice cream. Granted, he probably stored some other food items he wanted preserved in the ice house, but I have to believe its main use was for ice cream.

Still not convinced? I give you Exhibit C — ice cream machines! Apparently, there’s an entry in one of Washington’s ledgers indicating he procured a “cream machine for ice” for his Mount Vernon home.

I rest my case.

In honor of our founding ice cream lover, may I suggest you treat yourself to a cone (better yet, a cake) on Monday. It’s got to be more fun than hitting all those “Presidents Day” sales.

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