Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Presidents’ Day Is February 16

Celebrate PresidentsDay Throughout the Month!

Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is February 12 and George Washington’s birthday is February 22, but we officially celebrate both on Presidents’ Day, February 16. This month provides a perfect opportunity to take a closer look at all our presidents.

How can we share stories of the American presidency with our children?

Visit a Presidential Historic Site or Library
More than twenty states boast presidential birthplaces, historic homes, libraries, and museums. The website ourwhitehouse.org offers a comprehensive guide to finding these fabulous places, listed by state: Field Trip Guide! Presidential Birthplaces, Houses, and Libraries.

Check Out Special Activities at Local Museums
Many presidential libraries and museums are offering child-friendly and family-oriented activities to commemorate Presidents’ Day. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston is hosting a week-long celebration beginning Thursday, February 12, with its exhibit “Presidential Letters: A Selection from JFK's Historic Collection.” Among the items featured in this display will be four archival replicas of letters written by former presidents, including letters by George Washington, John Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln.

On Tuesday, February 17, the JFK Library is offering special children’s programming titled "Fire on the Mountain" by Flying Ship Productions. The one-hour performance invites children to journey with Alemayu, a young shepherd boy, through the vast mountains as he searches for his sister and learns life's lessons of character, honesty, courage, and love. This uplifting musical brings to life a classic African folktale with music, costumes, and scenery inspired by the cultural heritage of Ethiopia. The program is free, but reservations are required. To make a reservation, please call 617.514.1644 or e-mail JFKcelebrate@nara.gov.

Learn more by visiting the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Read, Research, Question, Learn!
Check out Maria Salvadore’s extensive list of book and website recommendations online at: Presidents, the President’s House, and More: A Select List of Books (and a Few Web Sources) for Children and Young Adults.

Play a Game of Presidential Trivia!

Do you know which president was the first to live in the White House? (Hint: It wasn’t George Washington!) Do you know which president served the shortest term? (Hint: He was president for 31 days in 1841.) Which presidents have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?

Make up your own presidential trivia game by digging into amazing Presidential Facts. Find the answers to these questions and make up even more questions using the essays about presidential job requirements, campaigns, and PETS—all on ourwhitehouse.org!

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