Washington – Lincoln Day in Virginia

"Lincoln's Drive Through Richmond" by Dennis M. Carter

Update – 01/24: Yesterday the bill was stricken from the Senate’s calendarUpdate: Head on over to Robert Moore’s site for some thoughtful commentary on Lincoln’s connection to the Shenandoah Valley. Turns out that the Lincoln family’s roots are deep.

The Virginia General Assembly is considering a bill that would designate the third Monday in February as Washington – Lincoln Day.

The third Monday in February – George Washington-Lincoln Day to honor George Washington (1732-1799), the first President of the United States, and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the Great Emancipator.

This makes perfect sense given the Lincoln’s family’s roots in Virginia as well as the importance that many Virginians attach to his entry into Richmond in April 1865 and the end of slavery.

Carter’s painting is on display at the American Civil War Center at Tredegar in Richmond through April 2012.

26 thoughts on “Washington – Lincoln Day in Virginia

  1. Jeffry Burden

    I work with Senator Henry Marsh, the sponsor, on his Lincoln Bicentennial sub-committee. The bill was passed through by the House General Laws Committee last week and now goes to a full vote. The opposition so far has been from the fine folks at Mt. Vernon, who feel Washington deserves a day all his own in Virginia.

    I did not know this until last week , but official federal holiday on the third Monday in February is not President’s Day, but “George Washington Day.” I say, let Virginia show Mr. Lincoln some love. :-)

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Thanks for the update. I find it encouraging to hear that there is no opposition from within the General Assembly and thanks for reminding us that there was a Lincoln Bicentennial committee.

      Reply
      1. Jeffry Burden

        Well, so far it’s only faced a Committee vote. I predict we’ll see some opposition the floor of the House, if not in the Senate (if it gets that far). And then there’s always the Heritage folks who’ll want to chime in.

        The Subcommittee’s work continues, what with the upcoming Emancipation Proclamation bicentennial.

        Reply
        1. Kevin Levin Post author

          Thanks. I should have read that last comment more closely. What is a piece of Civil War commemorative legislation without opposition? :-)

          Reply
    2. James Harrigan

      Jeff, please pass along my thanks to Senator Marsh, this is a great initiative. I have a framed photo of Lincoln on the wall of my office at UVa, so you know where I’m coming from.

      Reply
  2. Robert Moore

    Seeing where this will probably end up… just so we set the record straight, here… this is not necessarily a “modern PC-driven remembrance initiative” as some might make it out to be. First, in Rockingham County, Virginia, here in the Shenandoah Valley, the “Lincoln Homestead” marker is, indeed, only 15 years old, however, the “Lincoln’s Father” marker (not far from the homestead marker, and also in Rockingham County) dates to 1942. Furthermore, John Walter Wayland, a beloved Valley historian going wayyy back to the early 20th century, noted the significance of the family tie even earlier. The connection is worth noting, and the day will be worth remark in Virginia’s historical reflection.

    Reply
  3. Robert Moore

    It’s also worthwhile to note that the local D.A.R., Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, S.A.R., and other local heritage groups have, through the years, taken time to recognize the significance of the homestead, and family cemetery. Granted, Lincoln had connections to Virginia in other ways, during the war… and many of the Lincoln family that remained in the Valley didn’t always agree with cousin Abraham’s decisions :) , but it’s great to see the legislature taking action on this in the midst of the Sesquicentennial. Virginia’s recognition of Civil War personalities with connections to the Shenandoah Valley grows… first with Lee-Jackson Day… and now, possibly, with Washington-Lincoln Day (albeit, this day is larger in historical context than just the Civil War-era). Makes for a more well-rounded understanding of individuals and how, despite roots, Civil War era sentiments could vary.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      My guess is that most people know nothing about Lincoln’s southern roots beyond the fact that he was born in Kentucky.

      Jeffry,

      I do hope that the bill’s sponsors are aware of this history.

      Reply
      1. Jeffry Burden

        Actually, those roots form the basis of the argument for the bill, and were prominent in Sen. Marsh’s presentation to the Committee last week.

        Dr. Phil Stone, the head of the Lincoln Society of Virginia and recently-retired president of Bridgewater College, also serves on the Lincoln sub-committee, and has been a great source of knowledge. The sub-committee as a whole, and I personally, are supporting the Society’s efforts to purchase the Lincoln Homestead in Rockingham County in order to preserve and interpret it.

        Reply
        1. Dan Wright

          Dr. Stone gives a Lincoln birthday celebration at the Lincoln family gravesite near Linville, VA, every February, occasionally in bitterly cold weather. He has great knowledge and passion for the study of Lincoln.

          Reply
  4. Pingback: Why would a Washington-Lincoln Day be significant to Virginia? « Cenantua's Blog

  5. Billy Bearden

    Hip Hip Hooray!

    Virginia says NO to Lincoln again!

    The Old Dominion will retain George Washington Day as it is!

    Priase God !

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Hi Billy,

      Do you have a link for confirmation? Thanks. Are they saying no to Lincoln or to a Lincoln – Washington Day?

      Reply
      1. Billy Bearden

        Kevin!

        No to Marsh’s bill!!!

        Summary as introduced:
        Washington-Lincoln Day in the Commonwealth. Establishes the third Monday in February as Washington-Lincoln Day. Currently the legal holiday is designated George Washington Day. This bill is a recommendation of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission.

        Full text:
        01/03/12 Senate: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12100011D pdf | impact statement

        Status:
        01/03/12 Senate: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12100011D
        01/03/12 Senate: Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
        01/16/12 Senate: Reported from General Laws and Technology (13-Y 0-N 2-A)
        01/18/12 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N)
        01/19/12 Senate: Passed by for the day
        01/20/12 Senate: Passed by for the day
        01/23/12 Senate: Stricken from Senate calendar (40-Y 0-N)

        Reply
          1. Robert Moore

            Though it didn’t pass… this year… the recognition on the landscape in the Valley remains, as does many years of admiration by Virginians who made that recognition possible, years before the birth of many of those who spend a few happy minutes among themselves, reveling in an event that is anything but indelible.

            Reply
  6. Jeffry Burden

    Hold your horses, everyone…or, as has been said before, “The North Shall Rise Again!”

    Per Sen. Marsh’s office: pressure was brought to bear over the last week on various Senators by the good folks at Mt. Vernon, who suggested that the bill be amended to provide another date for a paid “Lincoln Day”, which is not fiscally feasible (or that the bill designate a non-paid State holiday, which was also by law a complete non-starter).

    However, Senate Joint Resolution 131 has been introduced in lieu of Senate Bill 43. It will establish February 12 as “Lincoln Day” in the Commonwealth. It does not go to the Governor for approval, so there’s no amendment or veto. Once agreed to by House and Senate, it will be up to Senator Marsh’s committee, the Lincoln Society of Virginia, and others to request that the Governor create the appropriate proclamation and urge appropriate commemorations. Here’s a link:

    http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+ful+SJ131+pdf

    Jeffry

    Reply
  7. Walter Ring

    NO to honoring a bloodthirsty, anti-White, anti-Southern tyrant who was responsible for more White deaths in this country than any other person. Lincoln deserves the same treatment as the communists Stalin, Lenin and MLK. SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS!!!

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Thanks for the comment. You will be happy to hear that no further action will be taken on this resolution this year.

      Reply

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