A day to honor US presidents
February 21, 2011
by Jenni Sebora

Presidents Day, originally known as Washington’s Birthday, is celebrated every February.

This special day honors all of our presidents, but was started to honor two of our most well-known presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

George Washington, the first president of the US, was known for his honesty.

A legend has been passed down about Washington as a boy. He cut down a small cherry tree. When his father discovered the fallen tree, he asked his son, George, if he had done it. Although he was afraid to admit it, as most children are, George did. “I cannot tell a lie. I cut down the cherry tree with my hatchet.”

George Washington’s father was proud of his son’s honesty. This legend is appropriate and good to share with our children. It reminds our children that even presidents were children who made mistakes, and that it is best to be honest.

To commemorate this lesson and this story, make some treat or baked good with cherries. How about making ice cream sundaes together and adding a cherry on top? While delving into the ice cream, share the story of our first president of the US.

Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, was also born in February. Honest Abe, as he is known, grew up in a log cabin. His family was poor, but Abraham Lincoln studied hard and eventually became a lawyer, a lawmaker and of course, the president of the US.

Children could use craft sticks or Lincoln Logs to build a simple log cabin to simulate Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home.

Here are some other facts about some of our other presidents that you can share with your children.

Thomas Jefferson was the third president. He helped write the Declaration of Independence.

James Madison was the fourth president. During the War of 1812, the White House burned while Madison was president.

Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president of the US. The teddy bear was named after him because on a hunting trip, he refused to shoot a small bear.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the only president elected to four terms. He did not complete his fourth term, however, because he died.

John F. Kennedy, the 35th president, started the Peace Corps.

Ronald Reagan was the 40th president. He appointed the first woman Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O’Connor.

And it certainly is important to discuss with your child who the current president of the US is, President Obama, our nation’s first African-American president.

Kaboose movie expert Jane Louise Boursau and associate producer Bethany Porter put out their picks for the top 10 patriotic movies of all time.

The list consists of: “The Music Man,” “Rocky,” “Independence Day,” “On the Town”(starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra), “Miracle” (Olympic hockey team), “Apollo 13” and “Forrest Gump” (both movies starring Tom Hanks), “American Legends,” an animated movie about real American heroes through Disney; “Schoolhouse Rock: America,” a good movie for all ages that can teach kids about big events in American history, and “Top Gun” (starring Tom Cruise).