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 18th 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

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…

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?   No, he didn’t see 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.

New Year’s Week in Boston

There will be a large number of special events in Boston to celebrate the new year.  Most of them are part of First Night Boston.  Here’s a Full Schedule

  • Blink light and music show – every 30 minutes from 4:30-10:30pm, every night through Jan 1st
  • Ice sculptures – at Quincy Market, Copley Square, and other places 

Are You a U.S. Citizen? Prepare to Vote!

  The next national election will be on November 6, 2018.  In Massachusetts, we will vote for one senator (currently Elizabeth Warren), and our representative to the U.S. House of Representatives.  We will also vote for state governor (currently Charlie Baker), our state senator and representative, and other state officials.

If you are a U.S. citizen, and are at least 18 years old, you can – and you should – vote in government elections – local, state, and national. BUT – you must be registered to vote.  It’s quick and easy.  You need to register before you can vote for the first time, and update your address every time you move.

If you want to vote in this election (in Massachusetts), you must be registered by Wednesday, October 17th

  • In Massachusetts, you can register online
    (You can also confirm that you are already registered)
  • In most other states, it’s easy to register online at VOTE.GOV
  • There’s more detailed information on how to vote at USA.gov
  • Here’s an example of the mail-in voter registration form in Massachusetts
  • You can also get help at the Clerk’s Office in your City Hall or Town Hall

Are you almost a citizen?  MIRA and many organizations in Massachusetts provide services to help you become a citizen.  Framingham Adult ESL offers citizenship classes to help you prepare for the citizenship test.