Presidents Day History

For the shortest month of the year, we sure do celebrate a lot in February. There’s Lincoln’s birthday, and Washington’s birthday. And the entire month is devoted to exploring influential figures in African-American history. So on Presidents Day it’s only natural to want to look back a little. Chicago Parent has four events on Monday that are either historical or related to those historical figures we celebrate.

For the shortest month of the year, we sure do celebrate a lot in February. There’s Lincoln’s birthday, and Washington’s birthday. And the entire month is devoted to exploring influential figures in African-American history. So on President’s Day it’s only natural to want to look back a little. Chicago Parent has four events on Monday that are either historical or related to those historical figures we celebrate.

What’s it like when your dad is president? What’s it liketo be in the spotlight when you’re only nine years old? The ChicagoHistory Museum presents stories of some “First Kids” in the WhiteHouse, through dramatic performances, music, and craftactivities for the entire family.


What is a performance about Clara Barton doing in February?Don’t the folks at the Wilmette Historical Museum know that she wasneither a president nor African-American? Women’s History Month isMarch. Doesn’t anybody know their place anymore?

Out of time or not, Leslie Goddard portrays Barton, who was oneof the first women school teachers, one of the first women nursesin battle and, at the age of 60, founded the American Red Cross – and then ran it for the
next 23 years. Wait? Aren’t old people supposed to be useless? This
stereotype busting is all so confusing.

It might seem that celebrating this remarkable woman in the”wrong” month is probably totally the right thing to do.


Did you know that George Washington’s teeth were not wooden, but
were in fact made of hippopatomus ivory?

The Arlington Heights Historical Museum is exploring what foodsWashington and other presidents may have eaten, along with anexploration of where those foods came from and the things that wereconsidered special treats.


This may not be presidential or historical, but if your name isGeorge or Washington, then you can get free admission to the WillisSkydeck on President’s Day.


Free Willis Skydeck admission to those named George or Washington

George Washington stood atop Mount Vernon and surveyed the landhe fought for. You, too, can survey the land of Chicago for free onMonday – but only if your name is George or Washington.

Every once in a while the Skydeck at Willis Tower celebratessomeone’s birthday with the Namely You promotion, which grants freeadmission to a namesake of the man we celebrate. Last year it wasMartin Luther King, Jr. and Saint Patrick. This year, it’s thefather of our country.

So, anyone with a first, middle or last name of George orWashington can head to the Willis Tower, show their name andpicture ID and survey our city for free. First and middle nameslike Georgina will be honored, too. But last names are limited toexactly George or Washington, which is kind of a bummer forChicago’s significant Greek population. (Sorry Mr.Georgopoulos.)

If your child named George or Washington doesn’t have an ID,bring a copy of his (or her) birth certificate.

We also think it’s interesting that all of our national holidays(except Mothers’ Day) honor men in our history. Sure would be niceif, someday, Willis could offer anyone named Susan or Anthony freeadmission. Just sayin’.


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