Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №3/2009

President's Day

President’s Day (also called Washington’s Birthday) is celebrated in the USA on the third Monday of February.
The original version of the holiday was in commemoration of George Washington’s birthday in 1796. By the early 19th century, Washington’s Birthday had taken firm root in America as a bona fide national holiday.
The first formal observance of Lincoln’s birthday took place in 1865, when both houses of Congress gathered for a memorial address. While Lincoln’s Birthday did not become a federal holiday like George Washington’s, it did become a legal holiday in several states.
In 1971 President Richard Nixon proclaimed one single federal holiday, the Presidents’ Day, to be observed on the third Monday of February, honoring all past presidents of the United States of America.

The Presidential Seal has not always been as we can see it today. Originally it was fixed featuring a coat of arms similar to the one found on The Great Seal of the United States, with an eagle clutching thirteen arrows in one talon and an olive branch in the other. Prior to 1945, however, the coat of arms of the presidential seal bore a marked difference to the coat of arms of The Great Seal of the United States. The eagle on the presidential seal faced to the viewer’s right, towards the talon with the arrows, while the eagle on the Great Seal faced toward the viewer’s left, toward the talon with the olive branches.
One morning, standing at his desk, President Truman presented to the press a new presidential flag ... “This new flag faces the eagle toward the staff,” Truman explained, “which is looking to the front all the time when you are on the march, and also has him looking at the olive branch for peace, instead of the arrows for war ...”
On October 25, 1945 President Truman issued Executive Order 9646. This order made several alterations to the presidential flag and seal, among which was the reversal of the eagle’s head so that it pointed in the same direction as the one on the Great Seal. ? The new seal featured an eagle facing to it’s right, the direction of honor; and toward the olive branches in it’s right talon, symbolizing peace. ?The former design, first used in 1880 by President Rutherford B. Hayes, featured the eagle facing toward arrows in its left talon, symbolizing war.