531. Washington's Birthday was actually celebrated as a sort of holiday by the French Army while Washington was still alive during the Revolutionary War in 1781. Imagine that people you didn't even know were celebrating your birthday. What might they do to commemorate the occasion and why?
532. Washington's 100th birthday was celebrated in 1832, and the Washington Monument's cornerstone was laid in 1848. Would you want a monument to be created in your honor? Why or why not? If so, what would you want it to look like?
533. The official federal holiday of Washington's Birthday was put into practice in 1879. Create a conversation between two kids, one who is excited about the new holiday and one who doesn't know who Washington was. How would the excited kid explain why Washington was important?
534. There has been some confusion over Washington's birthday because he was born on February 11 using the old Julian calendar and February 22 in the current Gregorian calendar. Imagine that you had your family convinced that you had two distinct birthdays. Would you be able to get presents on both? Why or why not?
535. In the 1930s, near what would have been Washington's 200th birthday, his face was carved into Mount Rushmore. Imagine what it would be like if your town featured a giant picture of your face. What would your friends and family think? How would your enlarged features make you feel?
536. Washington's Birthday and other holidays were moved to Mondays in 1971, in part so that people could have three-day weekends. Are you glad the Monday Holiday Act gave everybody a chance for three straight days off? Why or why not?
537. When the holidays were moved to Mondays, some people felt like they lost their meaning. For example, because of its placement on the third Monday in February, Washington's birthday would never be celebrated on Washington's actual birthday. Do you agree that the holiday loses some of its meaning? Why or why not?
538. In 1976, Washington was promoted to the rank of six-star General of the Armies so that he would continue to be the top commander even long after he was gone. What do you think it would be like to be the commander of the entire Armed Forces? Would you be a successful leader? Why or why not?
539. While some states refer to the holiday as Presidents Day, it's still technically called Washington's Birthday at the federal level. Do you think you'd rather have a holiday honoring Washington alone or all the presidents at the same time? Why?
540. Washington's Birthday is often used as part of a three-day Presidents' Weekend sale. Which do you think is more important: having discounted cars and other items or honoring George Washington? Why might both be important?