Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

July 2007

Wednesday Holidays

You really have to set priorities to celebrate a holiday on a Wednesday.

Monday holidays (an invention of the late 20th century) came about, I think, because Lincoln and Washington were born in February. So to compensate for dumping Lincoln’s birthday on the 12th, the federal calendar of holidays — days federal employees don’t officially work — set Washington’s birthday celebration to the next-to-last Monday in February. (It’s not Presidents’ Day officially, it’s Washington’s birthday.)

So in 1971 we had Washington’s birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day and Veterans’ Day moved to Mondays. Later, for reasons unknown to me, Veterans’ Day was moved back to Nov. 11. Labor Day was the first Monday-only holiday, observed now for more than 100 years on the first Monday in September.

This year, Veterans’ Day is a Sunday, so the Feds will get a day off on Monday the 12th. Christmas is Tuesday, which means, of course, that New Year’s day, 2008, will also be on a Tuesday. Tuesdays, business people can deal with, usually swapping Columbus Day and/or personal days for Monday eves. Same treatment when those year-end holidays hit on Thursdays: Stick a Friday on it.

Any way you slice it, Wednesdays are bears.

Thank goodness, 2008 is a leap year, so Christmas hops over Wednesday to Thursday, and the Fourth is a Friday. In our fair state, Town Meeting Day is a Tuesday holiday, and Bennington Battle Day is always celebrated on Aug. 16, except when the 16th is a Saturday or Sunday, then it’s either Friday or Monday.

Well, anyway, enjoy the Fourth and encourage your employees to do the same, but don’t go too far away or stay up too late; there’s two more days till the weekend.

You know, it’s Independence Day, so don’t watch the parade with a cell phone in your ear, okay?