Presidents’ Day

   Until the middle of the 1970s, February 22, the birthday of George Washington who was the first president of the United States, was a national holiday.  Also, February 12,  the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the president during the Civil War, was a holiday in most states.  In the 1970s, Congress declared a single holiday, to be called Presidents’ Day, would be observed on the third Monday in February (Monday February 19th this year) to honor all past presidents.

Here’s a video rap to help you remember their names.

Here’s information about what places are open or closed on this national holiday…

Town/City Hall and other government offices and courts: Closed

Public Schools: Closed (Part of February vacation week)

Senior Center: Closed

Public Library: Closed

Supermarkets: Open

Retail stores: Most are open

No Mail Delivery

Prefixes

   A prefix is a set of letters added to the beginning of a word, that changes what it means.  For example, the prefix un- usually changes the original word to the opposite meaning (happy/unhappy).

There are many common prefixes.  This doesn’t work for all words, but if you learn how these prefixes are used, you can increase your vocabulary more quickly.  (unlucky; unzip; uncut; unopened; unwrap; unknown; unlock; etc.)

Here are some of the most common prefixes:

Finally, here’s a larger list of 50 common prefixes.

Abraham Lincoln

  Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was born on February 12th, 1809. He led the United States through its Civil War in the 1860s, which abolished slavery in the country.  He was assassinated (killed) in 1865 – only a few days after the war ended.

At the site of a large battle in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (where 23,000 soldiers died in just one day), President Lincoln gave a 3-minute speech (now known as The Gettysburg Address) that has become the most famous in American history…

Tongue Twisters

  A tongue twister is a set of words that are difficult to pronounce together – especially when you try to say them quickly.  They are fun to try to speak, and can help improve your pronunciation.

For example, try saying this (slowly at first, and then faster):
Rubber baby buggy bumper

Or this one – to practice the TH sound:

(From englishclass101.com)  Or another one:
Theopolis the thistle sifter thrust a thistle through his thumb.

Here is a collection of many more tongue twisters – easy, medium, and difficult.

Groundhog Day

February 2nd is a small, fun/silly holiday called Groundhog Day.  You may see it mentioned on the news – especially during the weather report.  According to legend:

  • If the groundhog sees his shadow on Feb 2nd, there will be 6 more weeks of winter
  • If he doesn’t see his shadow, there will be an early spring

Did he see his shadow this year?   Yes!  He saw his shadow.  Here’s the ceremony – in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

 

There’s also a popular romantic comedy movie called Groundhog Day that you might enjoy watching.