Skip to comments.Lincoln holiday on its way out (West Virginia)
Posted on 09/10/2005 4:46:12 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
Lincoln holiday on its way out
By Phil Kabler Staff writer
A bill to combine state holidays for Washington and Lincolns birthdays into a single Presidents Day holiday cleared its first legislative committee Wednesday, over objections from Senate Republicans who said it besmirches Abraham Lincolns role in helping establish West Virginia as a state.
Senate Government Organization Committee members rejected several attempts to retain Lincolns birthday as a state holiday.
State Sen. Russ Weeks, R-Raleigh, introduced an amendment to instead eliminate Columbus Day as a paid state holiday. Columbus didnt have anything to do with making West Virginia a state, he said. If we have to cut one, lets cut Christopher Columbus.
Jim Pitrolo, legislative director for Gov. Joe Manchin, said the proposed merger of the two holidays would bring West Virginia in line with federal holidays, and would effectively save $4.6 million a year the cost of one days pay to state workers.
Government Organization Chairman Ed Bowman, D-Hancock, said the overall savings would be even greater, since by law, county and municipal governments must give their employees the same paid holidays as state government.
To the taxpayers, the savings will be even larger, he said.
The bill technically trades the February holiday for a new holiday on the Friday after Thanksgiving. For years, though, governors have given state employees that day off with pay by proclamation.
Sen. Sarah Minear, R-Tucker, who also objected to eliminating Lincolns birthday as a holiday, argued that it was misleading to suggest that eliminating the holiday will save the state money.
Its not going to save the state a dime, said Minear, who said she isnt giving up on retaining the Lincoln holiday.
Committee members also rejected an amendment by Sen. Steve Harrison, R-Kanawha, to recognize the Friday after Thanksgiving as Lincoln Day.
I do believe President Lincoln has a special place in the history of West Virginia, he said.
Sen. Randy White, D-Webster, said he believed that would create confusion.
Its confusing to me, he said.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, suggested that the state could recognize Lincolns proclamation creating West Virginia as part of the June 20 state holiday observance for the states birthday.
Proponents of the measure to eliminate a state holiday contend that the numerous paid holidays - as many as 14 in election years contribute to inefficiencies in state government.
To contact staff writer Phil Kabler, use e-mail or call 348-1220.
The only person's birthday we celebrate as a national holiday is Martin Luther King's. The others we share.
What's that tell you?
I wish they wouldn't sully the memory of George Washington with Abe Lincoln. Why don't they combine Lincoln with MLK day instead?
Why not really get creative and combine Mlk's birthday with Robert( Sheets) Byrd's birthday?
Now you're on to something...throw in Abe and have a trifecta!
On the other hand, Jefferson Davis pursued a despicable line that would invite foreigners to move against fellow Americans. Washington would have been horrified by the policies of the CSA.
There's a littl more to it than that. The state of West Virginia was formed during the War Between the States. This is a state where brother truely fought against brother. The first land battle of the War was fought here. The blue - gray animosity goes much deeper than Dem - Rep.
Lincoln and Washington just don't fit in with modern trends. If the homosexuals could prove their ridiculous "Gay Abe" fable, we might see a new Lincoln holiday.
I guess the war was the source of many of the long-running feuds that many associate with the mountains of WV,KY,TN,NC,GA and AL.
Washington would not have suspended the Constitution. While he was a federalist, he recognized that states were a part of the union of their own will, and had the right to secede if they wanted.
Excellent point about about Jefferson Davis! The Confederates were begging forein nations to come into the war on their side -- and kill fellow Americans.
If it weren't for Abraham Lincoln, West Virginia would still be part of Virginia. The Constitution forbids creating a new state out of an existing state without that state's consent. Lincoln found a way around that.
Lincoln did not suspend the Constition, just habeas corpus, which is perfectly constitutional.
Although the most famous feud, Hatfield - McCoy, was over land, money and eventually murder, it was waged back and forth between KY and WV. There is still a lot of resentment, however, over the War within the state of WV. As someone who moved here recently, I've tried to acquaint myself with the history and culture of the Mountain State and am finding it most fascinating.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the creation of West Virginia, reasoning along these lines:
By voting to secede, the rebel delegates to the Virginia secession convention were triators to the United States Government and were therefore no longer legitimate delegates to the convention, leaving the few dozen loyal delegates (from West Virginia and the Easter Shore) as the legitimate government of the state. They elected their leader, Francis Pierpont, as governor. President Lincoln recognized Pierpont as governor and Congress recognized the two men his legislature elected to the U.S. Senate. It was the loyal government of Virginia which agreed to the formation of West Virginia. Pierpont, BTW, stayed as governor of Virginia until 1868.
But at the time, Virginia by its own choice, was not part of the United States. Once WV was formed, Lincoln and Congress granted it statehood. To argue the right or wrong of these actions is like a chicken or the egg controversy.
Yes, indeed, most mountain folk were Unionists, as far south as Alabama.
An interesting aftershock of the Civil War was the 18924 Democratic Convention. One ofthe reasons the frontrunner, William G. McAdoo, did not get the nomination was that he had been born in Georgia in 1863, a time when neo-Confederates were still claiming that the state was not part of the United States. So, his opponents argued, if Georgia was not part of the United States in 1863, then McAdoo was not a natural born citizen of the United States and so ineligible for the presidency. They said that the neo-Confederates could not have it both ways. Rather than admit that Lincoln was right, southern Democrats were forced to give up on McAdoo.
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