US Presidents’ Day

Americans observe “Presidents’ Day” on the third Monday of February each year. Originally we celebrated the birthday of George Washington on February 22. Some states honored Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12. Congress combined the days in 1968 to honor both men, and it became known as “Presidents’ Day.” Many consider it to be a day to esteem all of our Presidents.[1]


The President is a crucial figure in the U. S. government. All of my life, I have heard the news media call the President the “most powerful man in the world” and sometimes, “the most powerful man in the free world.” The President’s primary responsibility is to ensure the faithful implementation of our laws. He accomplishes this through his cabinet and numerous executive agencies.


The President is the Commander in Chief of the Military. He has the authority to direct the activities of each branch of the Armed Forces. He does NOT have the power to declare war. The authority to declare war rests with Congress according to the Constitution.


The President has the authority to make treaties with other nations with the approval of Congress. He is our main negotiator and spokesperson. Even then, he is accountable to Congress and the American people.


The President has the power to accept or reject bills from Congress. If he accepts the bill, it becomes law. He may also veto a bill that prohibits it from becoming law. Congress may choose to override that veto and pass the bill as a law.


Our Framers designed a series of checks and balances to prohibit power from concentrating in one of the branches of our government. The three branches are the Legislative, the executive, and the Judiciary branches. The first two branches have direct accountability to “We the People.” The Supreme Court is not accountable to the people. This is likely one of the rare flaws in the Constitution.


The three branches of government have a biblical foundation. Isaiah 33:22 (NKJV) lays out the concept. It reads:

(For the Lord is our Judge,
The Lord is our Lawgiver,
The Lord is our King;
He will save us);


According to Exodus 18, the Lord approved a “Republican” form of government. That is not a political party but a concept. The idea is that the people selected representatives who would appear with Moses, their Chief Executive, to decide the direction of their tribes and nations. There is no mention of “Democracy” in our Constitution or Scripture. The role of our President, and our three branches of our government, have a biblical application.


We have had quite a collection of Presidents during the lifetime of our Republic. Even in the nation’s early days, there was conflict among the men who would become President and the political parties they represented. One of my favorite early Presidents is Thomas Jefferson. He was out of the country representing America in France when the Constitution was written. When he read the document, he was distressed over the absence of the Bill of Rights and the lack of term limits for elected officials. Jefferson was right on both issues. The Bill of Rights was added in our first ten amendments, but we still have to endure lifetime politicians in Congress.[2]


Our early Presidents took on solemn responsibilities for our nation. John Adams was abroad when the Constitution was written, serving as our Minister to Great Britain. George Washington and James Madison were the only two Presidents to sign the Constitution at the Convention.[3]


There was another side to our Presidents. The article, “99 Fun Facts about U. S. Presidents,” lists some colorful experiences.[4] Consider these few.


  • George Washington never lived in the White House. The capital was located in Philadelphia and other cities when Washington was president. He is also the only president who didn’t represent a political party.
  • “Lincoln Logs” are named after Abraham Lincoln and the log cabin where he was born. John Lloyd Wright, son of famous architect Francis Lloyd Wright, invented them.
  • Thomas Jefferson and John Adams once traveled to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace. While there, they took a knife to one of Shakespeare’s chairs so they could take home some wood chips as souvenirs.
  • James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were once arrested together for taking a carriage ride in the countryside of Vermont on a Sunday, which violated the laws of that state.
  • President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) is the only president (so far) to be elected to two non-consecutive terms. He was the 22nd and 24th president.
  • James Buchanan, the only bachelor president, quietly but consistently bought slaves in Washington, D.C., and then set them free in Pennsylvania.
  • Six presidents were named James: Madison, Monroe, Polk, Buchanan, Garfield, and Carter. Jimmy Carter was the first President to be born in a hospital.


Presidents have been men of influence and example throughout our history. That is why they were elected to the high office. Their influence reminds us of our spheres of influence. We may never make it to the Oval Office, but we have areas of influence in our lives. Paul reminded the young man, Timothy, of his responsibility to influence those around him in 1 Timothy 4:12 (NKJV):

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.


The power of example is valid for Presidents, preachers, and all of us.


Let’s Keep The Light of Godly Example Burning!

[1] “Presidents’ Day,”, December 21, 2021.

[2] “Thomas Jefferson and the Constitutional Convention,” Thomas Jefferson & the Constitutional Convention |

[3] “Fascinating Facts about the U.S. Constitution,” Constitution Day Materials, US Constitution, Pocket Constitution Book, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights (

[4]  Karin Lehnardt, “99 Fun Facts about U. S. Presidents,” 99 Fun Facts about U.S. Presidents |, September 17, 2016.