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Presidents Born in February

February 11, 2016

Four U.S. Presidents were born in February. Two died in office. The other two served two full terms.

George Washington’s birthday was February 11, 1731, but when the Gregorian Calendar replaced the Julian Calendar in the West, eleven days were added, and for those whose birthdays were between January 1 and March 25, one year was added. That’s why we now regard his birthday as February 22, 1732. However, Washington always celebrated his birthday on February 11, no matter what calendar was in use. Although he served two full terms, he actually served fewer days than all his two-term successors. That’s because he was not sworn in until April 30, 1789. His term was supposed to start on March 4, but the Electoral votes were not counted until April 6.

William Henry Harrison was the oldest person elected President before Reagan. He gave the longest inaugural address and served the fewest days. Like Washington, he was a general in the army. His was born February 9, 1773 and died April 4, 1841. Forty-eight years later his grandson became the 23rd U.S. President.

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, the same day as Charles Darwin. His parents were Baptists, but Lincoln never formally joined any church. As an adult Lincoln mostly attended Presbyterian churches. He once said: “I do not think I could myself, be brought to support a man for office, whom I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at, religion.”

Ronald Reagan was born February 6, 1911. In his 1985 State of the Union Address he said: “Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few; it is the universal right of all God’s children… Victories against poverty are greatest and peace most secure where people live by laws that insure free press, free speech, and freedom to worship, vote, and create wealth.”

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