“You see, Washington and Abie are named for George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and they have their birthdays this month. So I’d like to give a party for Washington and Abie. I don’t want a lot of people. I’d like to have just you and me give a party for Washington and Abie”. [Margaret told Betsy] Quote from Betsy Was a Junior by Maud Hart Lovelace
Today we celebrate Presidents’ Day, commemorating the birthdays of President George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln.
I’m reminded of how Betsy’s little sister Margaret wanted to celebrate Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays—with a party for her cat, Washington and her dog, Abie! Margaret didn’t want a lot of people at the party, just Betsy. She decided to pick a day in between Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthday, just so “neither one’s feelings were hurt”. They chose February 18th for the party.
Betsy and Margaret planned to make place cards by drawing pictures of cats and dogs or cutting them out of magazines and pasting them on cards.
“We mustn’t let Abie and Washington see us making them, though. We want them for a surprise. And when the day comes we’ll brush Washington and Abie and tie ribbons into their collars.” Betsy said. “Washington looks best in pink and Abie in blue…” Margaret said.
The girls decided to serve creamed salmon on toast. Of course the party didn’t turn out quite as planned. But it was the thought that counts.
On another note…in an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal (Feb. 14, 2014) The Biography He Deserved, Joseph Epstein writes about Lord Charnwood’s biography, Abraham Lincoln. According to Epstein this book is the best of all books written about Lincoln. Read the entire article.
Abraham Lincoln by Lord Charnwood also has a Betsy-Tacy/Maud Hart Lovelace connection. Maud wrote in Betsy’s Wedding:
“You were eating an apple and reading a book, the first time I saw you,” [Betsy] reminded Joe one night, when he put down Charnwood’s Abraham Lincoln to go to the kitchen for an apple.
Charnwood’s biography was first published in 1916 and was a new book at the time Maud and Delos were married in November 1917. It’s very likely a book that they would have read.
Today, Charnwood’s biography is still in print. The description on Amazon states “no other narrative account of Abraham Lincoln’s life has inspired such widespread and lasting acclaim.”