D.C. Finally, in 1986, President Ronald Reagan declared the third Monday in January a federal legal holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. , offices and federal agencies are closed for the holiday. On Monday there are quiet memorial services as well as elaborate ceremonies in honour of Dr. King. On the preceding Sunday, ministers of all religions give special sermons reminding everyone of Dr.King's lifelong work for peace. All weekend, popular radio stations play songs and speeches that tell the history of the Civil Rights Movement. Television channels broadcast special programs with filmed highlights of Dr. King's life and times.
Until the mid-1970s, the February 22 birthday of George Washington, hero of the Revolutionary War and first president of the United States, was a national holiday. In addition, the February 12 birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the president during the Civil War (1861-1865), was a holiday in most states.the 1970s, Congress declared that in order to honour all past presidents of the United States, a single holiday, to be called Presidents' Day, would be observed on the third Monday in February. In many states, however, the holiday continues to be known as George Washington's birthday. Until 1971, both February 12 and February 22 were observed as federal public holidays to honour the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and George Washington (February 22).1971 President Richard Nixon proclaimed one single federal public holiday, the Presidents Day, to be observed on the third Monday of February, honouring all past president of the United States of America.
"...As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy"
"If we do not make common cause to save the good old ship of the Union on this voyage, nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage"
Of all the presidents in the history of the United State, Abraham Lincoln is probably the one that Americans remember the best and with deepest affection. His childhood in the frontier of Indiana set the course for his character and motivation later in life. He brought a new honesty and integrity to the White House. He would always be remembered as "honest Abe." Most of all, he is associated with the final abolition of slavery (уничтожениерабства). Lincoln became a virtual symbol of the American dream whereby an ordinary person from humble beginnings could reach the pinnacle (вершины) of society as president of the country.few years later, slavery became a stronger issue, and more people were willing to abolish it. Lincoln joined the Republicans, a new political party that was opposed to slavery. The Republicans nominated him for the U.S. Senate in 1858, and in his acceptance speech, he stated:
"A house divided against itself cannot stand... This government cannot endure, permanently half-slave and half-free... I do not expect the Union to be dissolved. I do not expect the house to fall but I do expect it will cease to be divided. "Lincoln's oratorical powers brought him to the attention of the nation. He challenged the Democratic nominee to the Senate to a series of debates. Using the simple language that he used to communicate with people all his life, he defeated (разрушил) Douglas in the debates but lost to him in the election.April 14, Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln attended a play at the Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. A few minutes past ten o'clock, an actor who disagreed with Lincoln's political opinions stepped into the Presidential box and shot the President. He died the following morning.
"The father of his country"
George Washington, born on February 22, 1732 in Virginia, was a natural leader, instrumental in creating a united nation out of a conglomeration of struggling colonies and territories. The first president of the United States of America is affectionately honoured as "the father of his country."
Shortly after his twenty-second birthday, Washington served in the army of King George III of England and was put in command of a troop of soldiers. The French were settling on British soil and turning the local Indians against the British colonists. Later, in the war against the French and Indians, Washington commanded large troops of soldiers and showed courage that inspired all his soldiers. was a reluctant (сопротивляющийся) leader. As he inspired his soldiers through two wars, he saw himself serving his country, not leading it. When he accepted two terms as president, he saw himself serving God and his country in peacetime. He turned down a third term as president, wishing only to retire (уйтивотставку) to his beautiful family home, Mount Vernon. communities observe the holiday by staging pageants (организациейпарадов) and re-enactments of important milestones (этапы) in Washington's life. Also, the holiday has taken on another side, much more commercial in nature. Many shopping malls and stores run Presidents' Day sales to attract shoppers who have the day off from work or school.
The White House in office, George Washington held a contest for the best architectural design of a "President's Palace." Among the competitors was Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and an architect. design was entered anonymously, sighed only with the initials "A. Z." It didn't win. An Irish architect named James Hoban won $500, a piece of land, and of course the honour of having his plans used in the final design. called it the "President's House" because the word "palace" reminded them of the monarchy that they recently broke away from. The official name was the "Executive Mansion" from 1818-1902. Today it is called simply "The White House." Some historians say that people began calling it the White House because it was painted white after being restored after it had been burned by the British in 1812. Another legend is that George Washington named it after his wife's house in the state of Virginia. 1960 when John Kennedy became President, his wife Jacqueline redecorated the White House to display the beauty of American furnishings and art. The gardens outside were beautified and enlarged. Since then the presidents' wives have continued to maintain their home in a tasteful style.
The Pilgrims, who celebrated the first thanksgiving in America, were fleeing religious persecution in their native England. In 1609 a group of Pilgrims left England for the religious freedom in Holland where they lived and prospered. After a few years their children were speaking Dutch and had become attached to the Dutch way of life. This worried the Pilgrims. They considered the Dutch frivolous and their ideas a threat to their children's education and morality.
So they decided to leave Holland and travel to the New World. Their trip was financed by a group of English investors, the Merchant Adventurers. It was agreed that the Pilgrims would be given passage and supplies in exchange for their working for their backers for 7 years. On Sept. 6, 1620 the Pilgrims set sail for the New World on a ship called the Mayflower. They sailed from Plymouth, England and aboard were 44 Pilgrims, who called themselves the "Saints", and 66 others, whom the Pilgrims called the "Strangers." The long trip was cold and damp and took 65 days. Since there was the danger of fire on the wooden ship, the food had to be eaten cold. Many passengers became sick and one person died by the time land was sighted on November 10th. Although they had first sighted land off Cape Cod they did not settle until they arrived at Plymouth, which had been named by Captain John Smith in 1614. It was there that the Pilgrims decide to settle. Plymouth offered an excellent harbour. A large brook offered a resource for fish. The Pilgrims biggest concern was attack by the local Native American Indians. But the Patuxetswere a peaceful group and did not prove to be a threat.
In 1817 New York State had adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. By the middle of the 19th century many other states also celebrated a Thanksgiving Day. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.was proclaimed a national day of observance by Congress in 1941. Nowadays it is a family holiday. The traditional feast consists of turkey with a stuffing. It is served by sweet potatoes, squash and pumpkin pie. Apple cider is a drink of the day. Football is the most popular game on this day. Macys department store holds a parade in New York city. At the end Santa Claus comes and it symbolizes the coming of Christmas.
Christmas is a most important religious holiday for Christians, who attend special church services to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Since most Americans are Christian, the day is one on which most businesses are closed and the greatest possible number of workers; including government employees, have the day off. Many places even close early on the day before.Christians observe Christmas according to the traditions of their particular church. Besides the strictly religious traditions, however, other common Christmas practices are observed by people who are not religious o