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Red, White and Blue Holidays


July 4th is the day that Americans pause to celebrate our independence from England!  We celebrate with fireworks and picnics and prominently displayed flags.  Many of you may even attend the fantastic fireworks event held every July 4th in our nation’s capital. Those who can’t attend will most likely watch it on TV.

Even small towns sometimes have fireworks displays.  Many who do not have fireworks do have parades…fire trucks with American flags flying, marching bands with flag bearers and parade goers waving various sizes of American flags.  There are floats decorated in red, white, and blue and limos carrying the mayor or “special citizens”.  My mother in her 90’s was one of those special citizens.  She was never more proud than when she was chosen to ride in the limo from “The Legends”, her new assisted living home.  She proudly waved her small flag out the window of the limo…her very first time to be in a parade!


I am one of the perhaps many who like to display small American flags on what I call “red, white and blue holidays” and we are definitely in flag season as July 4th draws near.  Since I don’t have a place to display a large flag, one of my favorite places to display a small flag is on the chimney of a small rustic “log cabin” with a tin roof.  In addition to July 4th I “raise” the small flags on Memorial Day, observed the last Monday of May; Flag Day which is always June 14th; and Labor Day, always the first Monday in September.


Other special days worthy of red, white and blue status are Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, always the 3rd Monday of January; Presidents’ Day, always the 3rd Monday in February; Armed Forces Day, always the 3rd Saturday in May; and Veterans’ Day, always November 11th.

And this year, there is a very important special day… Election Day!  Do you know why it is in November or why it’s on Tuesday?  Do you know why Election Day is on November 8th this year?

Well…information from the Federal Election Commission attributes it to our predominantly farming society in the mid 1800’s when lawmakers made the decision. The decision was based on the need for farmers to plant in the spring, work the fields in the summer, and harvest in the fall.  The post-harvest November weather was considered still mild enough to travel to polls on unimproved roads.  Tuesday was chosen to allow two days travel time without having to miss Sunday worship.

Quoting from the Federal Election Commission…”Why the first Tuesday after the first Monday?  Lawmakers wanted to prevent elections from falling on the first of November for two reasons. First, November 1st is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics.  Second, most merchants were in the habit of doing their books from the preceding month on the 1st.”

So I now know why Election Day is November 8th this year.  I enjoyed the history lesson and my little log cabin will be adorned with its American flag on November 8th.


by Evelyn Kinville, Behnke’s Garden Blogger

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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