A PREVIEW OF PRESIDENT’S DAY
Hi Everyone. It’s me, Scoop, your cub reporter from The Shady Pines Gazette newspaper. President’s Day is coming up fast. Here in the news office, we’ve been kicking around ideas about what this day means to kids growing up today.
My editor, Zulah Talmadge, asked me who is my favorite U.S. president.
I had to think about that for a minute. I have two favorite presidents of the United States, if you really want to know. So, I’ll start with George Washington.
You may already know that he was one of the founding fathers of this country. He was also named Major General and Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army on June 19, 1775. He led the fight to gain our country’s independence from the British. General Washington not only became our first elected president but he left office voluntarily after his second term. By doing that, he introduced the idea of term limits.
GEORGE WASHINGTON – The MYTH?
There’s one story about Washington that sticks with me. The actual event may not be true, but the lesson is a good one. In school we learned the cherry tree myth is the most well-known and longest lasting legend about the first American president. In the original story, when Washington was six years old he received a hatchet as a gift.He didn’t mean to but he accidentally damaged his father’s cherry tree.
When his father found out what he had done, he became angry and confronted him. Young George bravely said, “I cannot tell a lie…I did cut it with my hatchet.” Washington’s father embraced him and said that his son’s honesty was worth more than a thousand trees.
PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
That meant something to me because my parents are always telling me how important it is to be honest. And that brings me to my second, favorite, present. After all, Abraham Lincoln’s nickname was, “Honest Abe.”
Do you know that Abraham Lincoln became our 16th president on March 4, 1861? He was known for his honesty way back when he was a teenager like me. That’s really cool.
The future president was first called “Honest Abe” when he was working as a young store clerk in New Salem, Illinois. According to one story, whenever he realized he had shortchanged a customer by a few pennies, he would close the shop and deliver the correct change – no matter of how far he had to walk.
People were impressed with him and were soon asking him to act as judge or referee in various contests, fights, and arguments. According to Robert Rutledge of New Salem, “Lincoln’s judgment was final in all that region of country. People relied upon his honesty, integrity, and fairness.”
The other thing that impresses me about Lincoln is that he came from a very poor background and worked hard all his life. He was best known for his amazing ability to split wood. As a president he led us through the Civil War, one of the darkest periods in our history. Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg address includes one of the most important notions about our country ever stated: “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” That statement still gives me chills.
So, what I would tell little kids who ask me why I like these presidents, I think these two men demonstrate what it is to be a leader. They also were the kinds of people we’d love to have as neighbors here in Shady Pines Story Town.
After all, the people who live in this small Southern town believe that we need to treat other people the way we’d like to be treated. Presidents Washington and Lincoln symbolize many of the qualities we all wish we had.
Why don’t you let us know what president you admire?
This is a cute way of presenting an important lesson to kids. I like both of Scoop’s choices.
I like the way you use this holiday to underscore the importance of honesty. That’s good.
This is a good question. We really need to look at the qualities our president’s bring to the job. I think Barack Obama had many of the leadership abilities I’d like my kids to emulate.
This is so good. Helping kids understand the importance of honesty is so needed right now. Good for you!
My favorite was Teddy Roosevelt . Although I can’t really ague with Scoop’s selections.
I like both of Scoop’s picks. I also liked Ronald Reagan.
I really liked two presidents, first Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was the only president elected for more than two terms. He led us out of the great depression and through much of World War 2. He was famous for his fireside chats.
I also liked Barack Obama. He broke the diversity barrier and was the first president of color. He was well spoken, again led our country out of a depression and was admired around the world for his diplomacy.
Well said! It’s almost like you are someone who teaches others!