Guest Column From State Representative Tim Schaffer
Honoring our President's Day Heritage in Ohio
February 12, 2015
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As we prepare to celebrate President’s Day this Monday, it is easy to see why Ohio is known as the “Mother of Presidents.” Ohio has been home to eight of our country’s presidents: William Henry Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding. As we take a day to remember these leaders and reflect on the guiding role they had in our nation’s history, it’s important to remember that the liberties we enjoy today are protected by these leaders every day.

Many people aren’t aware that the holiday began as Washington’s Birthday in 1885, signed into law by President Chester Arthur. Our state later adopted it as President’s Day, combining the celebrations of George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th. We observe the holiday on the third Monday of every February.

As we celebrate the lives of these men who led our nation, it is important to remember that they were normal Americans just like us before they took office. Men like Abraham Lincoln, raised on the frontier in Kentucky, and William McKinley, who grew up in Ohio and fought for the Union Army in the Civil War, were prime examples of the types of hardworking Americans who have made this country great. These American heroes built their lives through hard work and became leaders, exemplifying the qualities that make men strong.

Our presidential past is something that I feel all Ohioans should explore. With such great leaders having been born and raised right here in our backyard, it is worth a visit to any of our presidential heritage sites. Places like Ulysses S. Grant’s birthplace in Point Pleasant, the William McKinley Museum and Presidential Library in Canton and the Rutherford B. Hayes Historic Site in Fremont all offer us a chance to learn about our rich history.

As we celebrate these great men on Monday, I hope you will remember the sacrifices that our presidents and our service members have made to keep our country free and prosperous.  By honoring men like Lincoln and Washington and keeping our country’s heritage close to our hearts, we can stand strong as a nation and as a people. The United States, and Ohio, continue to be leaders around the world. As presidents come and go, continuing to honor them every February is a fantastic way to make sure their legacy persists and that their lessons continue to teach future generations of Americans.

As always, please feel free to contact my office at or 614-466-8100 with any questions or concerns regarding your state government.

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