P is for Presidents Day

How’s this for an excellent example of the cultural differences between the US and UK… This week we have celebrated Presidents Day with a day off school. Presidents Day used to commemorate the birthday of George Washington on February the 22nd. Nowadays it combines Abe Lincoln’s birthday (Feb 12th)into a wider holiday also remembering Lincoln and other Presidents depending on where you live. Depending on where you live? That’s weird, right? To be honest, the wikipedia entry for Washington’s birthday (now Presidents Day) waffles on about federal holidays and state holidays and celebrating Lincoln and not celebrating Lincoln and generally gave me a headache. Not to mention apostrophe anxiety. Anyone who wants to know more can go get their own headache here.

What really interests me, however, is trying to imagine any kind of equivalent day being set up in the UK. I mean everyone loves a holiday, but to celebrate a P.M.’s birthday? It’s really a stretch. I suppose I can almost imagine there being a commemoration of Churchill’s birthday but I have looked it up and it’s… Hallowe’en! I don’t know why I think that’s funny, but I do.


Anyhoo, on Monday I tried to relieve my wikipedia headache by doing an NPR picture quiz to name ten presidents. In my defence I was doing this on my phone and did not see the clues provided. But honestly, even with the clues I’m not sure I would have got more than the 1 out of 10 I guessed correctly. So today I thought it would be fun to pair up some presidents with their UK counterparts and see how many of them are recognised by anyone on either side of the pond. Here they are…


The_Right_Hon._David_Lloyd_George             wwilson

This is the easiest one (I think). Not saying which is the American and which the Brit though 😉


Ramsay_MacDonald_ggbain_35734          Herbert_Hoover_-_NARA_-_532049

This one shows definite differences in hair fashion across the Atlantic.


08_Martin_Van_Buren_3x4       NPG 941; William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne by John Partridge

Whereas silly hair and sideburns were in for both these men. But who are they??


william-gladstone      Ulysses S. Grant

Anyone else noticed that none of these people are very smiley? Unlike the next two…


David-Cameron-2020309     barack-obama-smile-3

Answers on a postcard please…


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