Peyton McLaughlin – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – With Presidents’ Day coming up on Feb. 20, some LRHS history teachers took time to reflect the meaning behind the holiday.
Mustangs Ahead (MA): What does Presidents day mean to you?
LRHS AP US History teacher Matthew Pascuzzi (MP): “A chance to recognize the idea of democracy and celebrate the accomplishment of some of our great presidents.”
MA: Who is your favorite President, Why?
LRHS AP US Government and Politics teacher Ben Hall (BH): “Abraham Lincoln, where to start? The craggy face? All the Biblical allusions in the speeches? The second Inaugural Address? The Gettysburg Address? All of them are great but what I like about Lincoln most is that over the course of his life his thinking on a number of issues most importantly slavery changed a great deal. I think there is tendency now to trap politicians into a box when in reality the issues they are dealing with are very complicated it would be reasonable to expect someone to change their mind about them as they grow and learn more about the world.”
MA: Why is Presidents day on Feb 20?
LRHS Social studies teacher Kyle Steinburg (KS): “I believe it is the third Monday of February, close to Washington’s Birthday, which is on the 22nd.”
MA: How does Presidents day affect you?
MP: “It allows me to take a day in class and talk about leadership and love of my country.”
MA: What makes a good President?
BH: “I think what is interesting is that history kind of decides what makes a good President. During their terms both Lincoln and FDR faced critics who thought that they were trampling over the Constitution. Had the Civil War or WWII turned out differently we would certainly view them differently than we do now. The characteristics that I think are most important: thoughtfulness, empathy, courage, and an ability to make those around them and the country at large better. As Pres. John Kennedy said in 1961, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.'”