February hosts President’s Day even though the month with the most American presidents’ birthdays is October with six: John Adams (1735), Rutherford B. Hayes (1822), Chester Arthur (1829), Teddy Roosevelt (1858), Dwight Eisenhower (1890), and Jimmy Carter (1924).The runner-up month is November with five: James Polk (1795), Zachary Taylor (1784), Franklin Pierce (1804), James Garfield (1831), and Warren Harding (1865).
So here we are in the month that gave us four American presidents, yet it owns President’s Day. February gave us William Henry Harrison, the president who served the shortest term in office — just one month — after he died of natural causes resulting from the freezing temperatures during his inauguration.
February gave us our first president, George Washington, and the first Republican, Abraham Lincoln. Both were iconic American leaders who guided this nation through perilous times, at its birth and at its separation.
However, on this day in February, we also must remember the birth of another iconic American president, Ronald Wilson Reagan, who would have been 103 years old today. Last year I had the honor to visit the Reagan Ranch at Rancho del Cielo in a private tour of the ranch and his home. We can debate intricate points about his presidency, but Ronald Reagan certainly embodied an American spirit and communicated the seminal vision of American exceptionalism.
So, in celebration of “The Gippers” birthday I’d like to share a clip from his “Rendezvous with Destiny” speech. It is indeed a “Time for Choosing.” I hope you’ll enjoy this four-minute clip. And Happy Birthday, Sir!