Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Where do car sales and Black History Month come together? President’s Day celebrations, of course

Yes we did -  not just once, but twice

Yes we did –
not just once, but twice

I’m so old that when I was growing up, the birthdays of Lincoln and Washington were honored as separate holidays, only 10 days apart.  That gave us two days off from school. Now, President’s Day combines the two celebrations  to give us a single three-day weekend and, as is the case for many other American “holidays”, it has become an excuse for putting sale prices on everything from cars to Coach bags (online – sign up for their mailing list if you want access to their sale).

President’s Day always falls in Black History Month. This President’s Day, we can choose to celebrate the history-making re-election of our first Black president (Bill Clinton’s claim to the title notwithstanding). Had he failed to win reelection, Barack Obama’s presidency may have gone down in history as just an aberration – a blip. But thanks to a broad coalition of Americans coming together, Obama was resoundingly voted in for a second term.

As The Huffington Post reported, “President Barack Obama did not just win reelection tonight. His victory signaled the irreversible triumph of a new, 21st-century America: multiracial, multi-ethnic, global in outlook and moving beyond centuries of racial, sexual, marital and religious tradition.

I remain optimistic about hope and change. I remain optimistic about the future of America and the possibilities for the next generation. I believe that given the alternative of electing Mitt Romney, America chose to stay on the right path. In President Obama’s words: “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” 

So let’s keep on walking. And let’s make some progress.

How about you – any special plans (shopping or otherwise) to celebrate President’s Day?

 

President Obama brings Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King to his inauguration: on inspiration, challenges, and the ability to move mountains

According to the Constitution, a president is sworn in by taking the oath of office on January 20 of the year following the November presidential election. This year, with January 20 falling on the Sunday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior holiday weekend, it was determined that the President Obama and Vice-President Biden would be officially sworn in on January 20th in private ceremonies, with the public celebrations taking place on the holiday honoring Dr. King.

Many have noted that President Obama appears to feel a strong kinship with the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Both have roots in Illinois; both were elected with little experience on the national level; both were renowned for their speaking skills; and both have faced extreme national crises, with resolution and determination to achieve the best possible outcome.

Obama’s success is yet to be determined. But as he takes the oath of office for the second time, he ties himself once again to Lincoln by using the same Bible used for Lincoln’s first inauguration in 1861, as Obama did for his own first inauguration. In addition, Obama will be using a second Bible at today’s ceremonies: one known as the “traveling Bible” used by Dr. King.

Through their deeds, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King moved mountains. Our country today faces many mountains. Let us hope that President Obama has the courage, determination, and wisdom to make those mountains move.  He is president of all Americans, no matter what our political persuasion, and so it is a day to rejoice in the glory and possibilities of our democracy. Let freedom ring!