On Monday, February 18, we celebrate the birthdays of – depending on your interpretation – George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, all, would you know it, former presidents of these United States. I guess that’s why it’s called Presidents Day. And I guess these folks must have hated moving their cars early in the morning, riding express subways, and taking out the trash, because to commemorate them we’ve made sure none of these things happen on their observed birthdays.
On Monday, February 18, there are the following changes to city services:
- Alternate side parking regulations will be suspended. All other Department of Transportation regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect (because presidents love meters).
- There will be no garbage or recycling collection.
- All buses and subways will operate on a Saturday schedule, meaning no B train for the holiday.
Source: Robert Hoge (Lincoln Memorial) and Sarah Korf (Ash Wednesday) / Flickr
As previously reported here (where you can also get a complete listing of the entire 2012 NYC Parking Calendar), alternate side of the street parking regulations for street cleaning will be suspended on Monday, February 20, in observance of Presidents Day, and Wednesday, February 22, in observance of Ash Wednesday. All other street parking regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.
So instead of working on news stories for the week, I got swept up writing Facebook updates of little fun facts about our nation’s presidents. I’ve compiled them below for your amusement. Happy President’s Day everyone!
- Thomas Jefferson was the first president to shake hands with guests. Previously, people bowed. We can all thank him for religious freedom, the Library of Congress, and our increased risk of swine flu.
- James Monroe bought Florida. He was also the first president to ride around in a steamboat. Then he told Europe that the US had dibs on all the Americas, and any claim opposing that would be met with a karate chop. Essentially, James Monroe was America’s first Steven Seagall.
- James Madison was the first president to wear pants. Before him, they wore knee breeches. Strangely, schools baring his name have trouble employing people who can keep their pants on.
- James Polk is the only president to score seven states in a single treaty.
- President Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, had brothers who fought in the Confederate Army, reminding us that it’s okay to hate your in-laws now and then.
- While president, Ulysses S. Grant was arrested for driving his horse too fast and was fined $20. I’m not sure on this, but I think he muttered “F’ing Bloomberg.”
- President Chester Arthur was a man-about-town. He entertained lavishly and often, and enjoyed going to nightclubs. Arthur told a prohibition group that called on him at the White House, “I may be President of the United States, but my private life is my own damn business.” Apparently, Arthur may have been the last president to have balls.
- President Taft weighed 332 lbs and got stuck in the White House bathtub. He was also the first to authorize federal income taxes. The second fact makes it okay for us to make fun of him for the first fact.
- President Coolidge was once punched in the eye by the mayor of Boston, reconfirming the fact that the people from that city are a bunch of asses.
- President Truman’s mother, a Confederate sympathizer, refused to sleep in Lincoln’s bed during a White House visit. The ghost of Lincoln didn’t mind one bit.
- Dwight David Eisenhower was actually born David Dwight Eisenhower. He changed it to sound more ethnic.
- Jimmy Carter was the first president born in a hospital, spurring the long-standing political maxim: “The public doesn’t like presidents born in hospitals.”
- George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore by 500,000 votes. This one isn’t funny, sorry.
All factual information courtesy of Little Known Facts. All humor courtesy of my funny bone.