Since 1971, federal employees and school children have enjoyed a three-day holiday weekend each February. The long weekend is often filled with Presidents’ Day sales—no long weekend for many hardworking retail employees—family time, and relaxing.
Yet despite the holiday often being referred to as “Presidents’ Day” in practice, the official federal holiday continues to be known as “Washington’s Birthday.” When George Washington himself was alive, people honored the occasion with balls and banquets. The celebration continued after his death as a way to remember what America’s first president did for the Nation.
February 22, the date of Washington’s birth in 1732, became a federal holiday in 1879. Today, we celebrate Washington’s Birthday on the third Monday of February each year—the result of the 1968 law mandating that a number of federal holidays occur on Mondays.
Incidentally, the third Monday in February can never fall on the 22nd, meaning the federal holiday will never land on Washington’s actual birth date.
Rep. Robert McClory (R-IL), representing “the land of Lincoln,” attempted to change the name of the holiday to “Presidents’ Day” in 1968. But that measure proved to be particularly controversial for legislators from Virginia, Washington’s home state. The provision was soon dropped.
McClory did gain the concession of having the holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February, which falls between Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 and Washington’s 10 days later. It appeared to many that a federal holiday now existed to celebrate both Washington and Lincoln—as well as America’s other 43 commanders in chief. This interpretation was fueled by the numerous states that adopted “Presidents’ Day” as the holiday’s name, rather than the traditional “Washington’s Birthday.”
Past Presidents have often recognized the holiday with visits to Washington’s tomb. Franklin Delano Roosevelt did so on Washington’s 211th birthday in 1943, and Ronald Reagan followed suit on the 250th anniversary in 1982. President George W. Bush visited Mount Vernon in 2007.
During the Civil War, the Senate remembered George Washington with a reading of his Farewell Address. “In view of the perilous condition of the country, I think the time has arrived when we should recur back to the days, the times, and the doings of Washington and the patriots of the Revolution, who founded the government under which we live,” future President Andrew Johnson said on Feb. 22, 1862.
By 1896, reading Washington’s Farewell Address in the Senate had become an annual event. The parties take turns having a senator read the speech each year, and they now record their names in a notebook that has been used since 1900.
In his address, Washington advised the new Nation to keep the union together, beware misrepresentations of political factions and parties, keep debt to a minimum, and govern morally.
"The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all."
The Vermilion Arts Guild Gallery in downtown Vermilion, Ohio is closed until April 27, 2019 when it will reopen with a special Birds in Art exhibit. Until then, why not join in a workshop or two?
2019 Vermilion Arts Guild Spring Workshop Series
The Vermilion Arts Guild series of workshops is designed for a variety of skill levels and interest in mediums. Taught by experienced members of the Guild, the workshops are conducted on Saturdays. You're encouraged to bring a lunch or order carry out at one of Vermilion's local restaurants. Workshops are held at the Main Street Building at 685 Main Street. There's lots of parking in nearby city lots.
Floral Painting: March 9, 9:30 am - 3 pm
Beginning Watercolor: March 16, 9:30 am - 3 pm
Landscape & Florals: March 23, 9:30 am - 3 pm
Skies the Limit: March 30, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Painting Reflections: April 6, 9:30 am - 4 pm
Art and creativity play an important part in historic downtown Vermilion. The Main Street Vermilion Arts Guild inspires and encourages artistic expression through their members—all local artists and craftsmen who display their work at the gallery inside the Main Street Vermilion Building at 685 Main Street. The gallery features watercolors and acrylics, photography, original jewelry, woodworking, ceramics and pottery and more and changes with each approaching season.
Remember all those beautiful flowers this past summer? You helped pay for them by attending Vermilion in Bloom's Ladies Nights series, Ladies and Gents Night, and the Gardeners Fair!
Fun, lively and always delicious, Vermilion in Bloom's Ladies Nights Ladies Night is what get us through the winter and looking forward to the growing season. Everyone is welcome. A $10 donation is requested.
2019 Vermilion in Bloom Ladies Nights
Thursday, January 17, 7 pm: Hosted at Martino’s International Cafe, 4415 Liberty Avenue
Thursday, February 21, 7 pm: Hosted at the Vermilion Boat Club, 5416 Liberty Avenue
Wednesday, March 20, 7 pm: Hosted at Papermoon Vineyards, 2008 State Road
Since 2003, Vermilion in Bloom has changed the way our town looks by brightening the streetscape throughout downtown with flowers, improving public gathering places, coordinating the addition of "urban friendly" trees, dressing the town for the holidays and so much more. Their work delivers a sense of pride as visitors and residents alike marvel at the sight, even stopping to say "thanks" to the daily watering crews for their volunteerism.
There are more than 100 volunteers who help in many ways: planting flower baskets and beds, tending plantings, daily watering crews, light maintenance, cooking and baking for the popular Ladies Night and more.
Would you like to be a part of this fun and dedicated group? Vermilion in Bloom is a program of Main Street Vermilion. Visit www.mainstreetvermilion.org for more information.
Join the Vermilion Family YMCA at www.clevelandymca.org/join.The Vermilion Family YMCA has many features and amenities for members to enjoy.
The Free Weight Room has an abundance of space with all the equipment needed for a total body workout including several bench presses and squat racks, a large, multi-functional cable machine, a punching bag, and more. Supplement your workout down the hall in the Paramount Weight Room featuring 11 different fitness systems. The Fitness Center is your ideal stop for a cardio workout with 10 treadmills, 11 exercise bikes, 10 elipticals, 2 stair climbers, and 3 adaptive motion trianers. Ride and climb on the 15 state of the art Spin Bikes.
The Sprit, Mind, Body Studio is a safe space for group exercise. The Y surrounds a peaceful outdoor courtyard, maintained by caring members, which provides a fresh space for reflection and community.
The Community Center is a large, all-purpose room where group exercise classes take place daily. The Community Center also hosts many special events such as sports banquets, Youth Development recitals, and large gatherings.
Youth can jump, kick, cheer and tumble in the padded Active Youth Studio. The Y has 2 Gymnastics Rooms for recreational and competitive youth gymnastic teams. In one room focus is on tumbling and bars; in the other room focus is on beam and rings.
The Sail Loft is a cozy gathering place with couches, tables, and a kitchenette. Youth can hang out in the Sail Loft and play foosball or board games after school. The Pathways Center provides a creative environment for children to learn and grow while you workout.
Enjoy open gyms during evening hours, or participate in a youth sport league in the gymnasium (court is not regulation size). Mens and Womens locker rooms with showers are available so you can get your workout in and get on with your day.
The Vermilion Family YMCA is located 320 Aldrich Road in Vermilion, Ohio. Call (440) 967-4208 or (440) 967-3050 for more information.
Love, Cupid, hearts, chocolates, cards and flowers are everywhere - it's Valentine's Day! On February 14, Americans celebrate love and friendship. But where did this holiday of affection come from?
The origins of Valentine's Day are murky. We do know that the ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, a spring festival, on the 15th of February. With the introduction of Christianity, the holiday moved to the 14th of February - the saint day that celebrated several early Christian martyrs named Valentine. But somewhere along the way, Valentine's Day came to represent romance.
The romance we associate with Valentine's Day may spring from the medieval belief that birds select their mates on February 14th. During the Middle Ages, human lovebirds recited verse or prose to one another in honor of the day. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" wrote William Shakespeare. And poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning expressed love this way:
How do I love thee; let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach...
"Will you be my Valentine?" Nowadays, people often ask this of their loved ones in greeting cards. Probably the first greeting cards, handmade valentines, appeared in the 16th century. As early as 1800, companies began mass-producing cards. Initially these cards were hand-colored by factory workers. By the early 20th century even fancy lace and ribbon-strewn cards were created by machine.
Today, approximately 55% of Americans celebrate Valentine's Day, spending an estimated $18.2 billion each year. Over $1.7 billion is spent on candy alone. Around 141 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually. 220 million roses are purchased each year. 9 million Americans purchace cards or gifts for their canine companions. On average, men spend $150 on Valentine's Day, while women spend $74.
Scarlet Transportation & Adventure Tours has developed a tour based on the book "Murders, Mysteries & the History of Lorain County 1824-1956" written by local author Don Hilton. The tour will be held on Thursday, May 9 from 4 pm to 7 pm and launched from Ritter Public Library in Vermilion, Ohio. Upon return, the author will give a one hour program and Q&A on the book.
The tour is $20 plus tax and there are 24 seat available. The hour-long program at the library is free and open to the public.
For more information and/or tickets, call (440) 695-0419.
Now you can borrow even more specialty items from Ritter Public Library, including cake pans, binoculars, folding table and benches, even a Go-Pro camera and a slide scanner that can convert your 35 mm slides to digital files.
All Make, Take & Borrow kits are available to check our for one week. Late fees are $1 a day.
Graniteware Lobster / Clam Pot and 16-Piece Crab or Lobster Utensils
Crown Cake Pan
My Little Pony Cake Pan
Dinosaur Cake Pan
Elmo Face Cake Pan
Wilton Bundt Pan
Nordicware Bundt Pan
Star Cake Pan
Star Wars Cake Pan
Teddy Bear Cake Pan
Giant Cupcake Pan
Mickey Mouse Cake Pan
Stars and Stripes Cake Pan
Baby Buggy Cake Pan
Cake Decorating Turntable & Supplies
Easter-themed and Flower Cookie Cutters
Holiday Cookie Cutters
Autumn Leaf and Pilgrim Cookie Cutters
Haunted House Cookie Cutters
1 6’ Folding Table
2 6’ Folding Benches
GoPro Kit includes: GoPro HERO Cam — needs micro SD card GoPro Headstrap Mount Floating Hand Grip Carrying Case Electronics Kits Kodak Digital Film & Slide Scanner — needs SD card Microphone Recorder — needs micro SD card Toys Octopus Kites Beach Toy Kits Stikbots stop-motion animation toys Learning Kits Microscope Slide Set w/ Case Bug Collecting Kit I Taught Myself Crochet Beginners Kit Teach Yourself Knitting Kit Starling Early Learning Kit Birding Kit includes: Backyard Birding Guide Waterbirds Birding Guide Birding 101 Pocket Guide Backpack Celestron Binoculars Children’s Binoculars Dremel wood-burning toolkit 2 Tool boxes
In Library Use Only
May require purchase of materials
Rotary Paper Trimmer / Cutter
Ritter Public Library is located at 5680 Liberty Avenue in downtown Vermilion, Ohio. Call (440) 967-3798 for more information.
On Wednesday, Mayor Jim Forthofer signed the contract officially making LifeCare Ambulance Inc. of Elyria the ambulance service for Vermilion and Brownhelm Township, replacing North Central EMS. The signing was held at the new ambulance garage at 1011 Douglas Street.
Vermilion City Council voted unanimously to purchase the Douglas Street building from Norwalk Area Health Care at a Special Vermilion City Council Meeting on November 15, 2018. A third reading of an ordinance, Ordinance 2018-82, authorized the mayor of Vermilion to enter into a purchase agreement to purchase property for new ambulance services. The building cost the city around $180,000. A previous consideration to house the ambulance service in a new fire station proved to be too costly, and housing the service at Vermilion Fire Department Station 2 was decided to be too unsuitable of a location.
While the contract with North Central EMS provided ambulance service to Vermilion, Brownhelm Township and Vermilion Township, with the townships contributing a subsidy, Vermilion Township had created its own ambulance service. As a result, the fees for Vermilion and Brownhelm Township increased, promoting the city to seek alternative services.
Mayor Jim Forthofer worked out an agreement with LifeCare Ambulance Inc. for less expensive services for the city and Brownhelm Township, under the condition that Vermilion would provide an ambulance service facility. If the city continued using North Central EMS, it would cost an additional $100,000, according to the mayor. LifeCare Ambulance Inc. agreed to provide coverage for a total of $100,000 a year.
The new ambulance garage is now known as Life Care’s Station 7. LifeCare Ambulance Inc. will lease the building for $1 a year, and will pay utilities. A new call box has been installed at the station, mostly for individuals suffering from opioid addiction and overdoses.