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Motivation Mondays: Presidents’ Day

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“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”  Dwight D. Eisenhower

Motivation Mondays: Presidents' Day - 44 Presidents of the USA, Presidential Seal and Flag

Motivation Mondays: Presidents’ Day – 44 Presidents of the USA, Presidential Seal and Flag

Work is about more than making a living, as vital as that is. It’s fundamental to human dignity, to our sense of self-worth as useful, independent, free people. William J. Clinton
Nations, like individuals in a state of nature, are equal and independent, possessing certain rights and owing certain duties to each other. Millard Fillmore
The chief duty of government is to keep the peace and stand out of the sunshine of the people.
James A. Garfield
America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration. Warren G. Harding
The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity. Ulysses S. Grant

What do You know about Presidents’ Day? For starters, some people refer to it as President’s Day though the more appropriate punctuation is Presidents’ Day in honor of  all the 44 Presidents of the USA and, specifically, to celebrate two Presidents with birthdays in February. For anyone who wonders about the origin of this special federal holiday that celebrates/honors two of America’s greatest Presidents; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it came about  in 1968, when the 90th Congress voted to shift three federal holidays, which included George Washington’s Birthday, to the 3rd Monday of February. Many objections were raised by those who felt that their birthdays ought to be celebrated individually and to merge them would be disrespectful. Congress persisted and in 1971 it became law. With the Republican and Democratic primaries in full swing, it is a very important time to read up on the history of our Presidency and to think about who the next/45th President of the USA will be.  Of course, we know that because it is a federal holiday, one fallout of this great day is the huge commercialization that pulls people into stores on their day off.

As we celebrate Presidents’ Day today, we should make time to revisit the history of this great country and consider what qualities of leadership matter most to us. What qualities should a leader of a nation have? What motivates people to take on such responsibilities? What motivates you to lead? One thing that should be clear by now is that every leader brings a unique set of skills and qualifications to the job. In times of peace, even a mediocre leader looks strong. It is in times of discontent that we get to see if our elected leader has the metier to lead with diplomacy and strength. Some of us think a leader should be perfect, charismatic and supremely qualified but, we all have shortcomings and our leader must be a person who can choose a team that will make up for the lack; perfection is unattainable. Fortunately, in the USA, there are other checks and balances that prevent any leader from becoming a tyrant or a dictator. That said, a leader needs to develop a long list of qualities that include integrity, vision, a spirit of service and compassion for the downtrodden.  Each of us can be leaders in our own way through service and decisive action.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama

Motivation Mondays: Presidents' Day - 44 Presidents of the USA, Presidential Seal and Flag

Motivation Mondays: Presidents’ Day – 44 Presidents of the USA, Presidential Seal and Flag

Motivation Mondays: Presidents' Day - First 25 USA Presidents Collage

Motivation Mondays: Presidents’ Day – First 25 USA Presidents Collage

James Madison and George Washington are the only presidents who signed the Constitution.
George Washington was the only president voted into office and elected unanimously; all of the state representatives voted for him.
Franklin D. Roosevelt met President Grover Cleveland when he was five years old. Cleveland said “I am making a wish for you. It is that you may never become president of the United States”.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to appear on television during a 1939 broadcast from the World’s Fair.
James K. Polk was the first president to have his photograph taken while in office.
At 42 years, 10 months, 18 days old Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest man to hold the office of president. Ronald Reagan was the oldest at 69 years 11 months. John F. Kennedy was the youngest to be elected president.
James Madison was the shortest president at 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 100 pounds. Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president at 6 feet 4 inches tall (Lyndon B. Johnson was also 6′ 4″).
William Henry Harrison died just 32 days after becoming president. He died from a cold he got while standing the rain giving his inauguration speech.Fun Facts from

Are you familiar with the stories attached to the Presidency? The Presidency comes with much folklore and stories of heroism and, over the years, there are many fables attributed  to specific presidents. Two that stand out are “The 20 Year Jinx” & “The Fable of George Washington and the Cherry Tree.” Stories: The 20 year jinx, also known as  The Curse of Tippecanoe, was purported to be a curse placed on American presidents that every 20 years a president in office would die. While it seems that many did, the curse was believed to be broken when Ronald Reagan survived an assassination attempt while in office.

The Cherry Tree story connected to George Washington has, over the years, evolved into other versions, but had to do with the question of who chopped down a neighbor’s tree; a crime the young George admitted doing by responding he couldn’t lie – all to do with the value of speaking the truth… not telling a lie and an image created to show honesty as a character trait of the President. That story is believed to be a fable. 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for January 2016 and February 2016 are:

01/04 – ANEW –
01/18 – MLK DAY –
01/25 – Opposite Day, Yin and Yang

02/15 – PRESIDENTS DAY – third Monday of month –
02/22 – TBD –
02/29 – LEAP YEAR

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2016?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.

— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab


More Below!

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. ” John F. Kennedy

Motivation Mondays: Presidents' Day - 44 Presidents of the USA, Presidential Seal and Flag

Motivation Mondays: Presidents’ Day – 44 Presidents of the USA, Presidential Seal and Flag

Motivation Mondays: Presidents' Day - Remaining 19 USA Presidents, Flag and Signing of Constitution painting Collage

Motivation Mondays: Presidents’ Day – Remaining 19 USA Presidents, Flag and Signing of Constitution painting Collage

Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected. George Washington
Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. John Adams
Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air. John Quincy Adams
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. Woodrow Wilson
You cannot be President of the United States if you don’t have faith. Remember Lincoln, going to his knees in times of trial in the Civil War and all that stuff. George H. W. Bush
Great lives never go out; they go on. Benjamin Harrison
The bold enterprises are the successful ones. Take counsel of hopes rather than of fears to win in this business. Rutherford B. Hayes
My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy

Another important aspect of this Federal holiday is the fact that some states choose to celebrate it as George Washington’s birthday and, sometimes, include Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. So even though we call it Presidents’ Day the decision to include and celebrate all 44 Presidents varies from state to state. I have two questions for you: Who was the oldest President in office? Who was the youngest? Which Presidents served more than one term in office?  Who served the longest in office? Who served the shortest term? Share your answers in the comments section  I hope you enjoyed seeing the photos and learning about our past and present leaders of the highest office in the USA. What would you like to add?

Source: Zen Antics All stories via

Positive Motivation Tip: Great leaders are made not born and in these challenging times, we need to think hard about who we want to lead this great nation with diplomacy, strength and compassion.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM

Related Posts

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Stories via Zen Stories on   Quotes via  All Photos: From my Personal Collection and/or  Presidents of the USAPresidential SealGeorge Washington, Flag of the USA via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

34 Comments leave one →


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