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Presidents Day Primer

First and most importantly, we’d like to note our sincere hope that you are reading this on your day off. If not, well … we’re guessing Abe and George would be very upset to know it. Nationalism and patriotism aside, Presidents Day is basically a nationwide birthday party for Washington and Lincoln. The two were born less than a week apart in the month of February, although Washington was born 77 years before Lincoln. These two presidential powerhouses get folded together so often (especially in our wallets) that it’s easy to forget the radical impact both had on the country; one as a Founding Father during the inception of the nation and the other as a champion of abolition and skilled political tactician. In honor of these two fine historical figures, we’ve decided to set the record straight on two pervasive presidential myths. <ol style="list-style-type: none;"> <li><strong>1.       </strong><strong>Washington: Cherry Tree Chopper, Truth Teller</strong></li> </ol> <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Exciting Legend</span>: As the story goes, young Washington hacked down his father’s prized cherry tree and when the elder Washington demanded to know the culprit, the future president lamented that he could not tell a lie and admitted to the crime, giving birth to two myths: that ol’ George never told a lie, and that he was an axe-wielding vandal. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Presidential Truth</span>: The anecdote was created by author Mason Locke Weems in a biography entitled <em>A History of the Life and Death, Virtues and Exploits, of General George Washington</em> and published in 1800, just one year after the president’s death. Some historians say Weems was trying to humanize Washington, while others argue he just wanted to sell more books. <ol style="list-style-type: none;"> <li><strong>2.      </strong><strong>Lincoln: “Simple” Country Lawyer</strong></li> </ol> <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Exciting Legend</span>: Some historians <em>still</em> describe Lincoln as a “prairie lawyer,” suggesting that the man was incompetent when it came to the practice of law during his days as a counselor in Illinois. Rumor has it that he failed to do research, clowned around in court and even forgot to bill clients. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Presidential Truth</span>: Lincoln was a killer shark, which should come as no surprise given his moves in the White House. Many of Lincoln’s legal papers have been preserved and a quick review reveals that he was about as good at lawyering as he was at everything else he ever did. He even successfully litigated for a few big-name clients and was regarded as a superb appeals attorney. <a href="http://www.atgstores.com/" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes you enjoyed this little trip through history and that you have a great Presidents Day holiday.
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