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Happy Washington’s Birthday or Presidents’ Day?

February 16, 2015 Events/Meetings, Featured, Transportation, Travel Comments Off on Happy Washington’s Birthday or Presidents’ Day?
The Lincoln IL Amtrak station, as seen from a Lincoln Service train in May 2012
The Lincoln IL Amtrak station, as seen from a Lincoln Service train in May 2012

So which is it: Presidents’ Day or Washington’s Birthday? What about Abraham Lincoln? The best answer I found online is from Snopes.com (recommended):

Claim:   The federal holiday observed in the United States on the third Monday of February is officially designated as “Presidents’ Day.”


Their post is long and detailed, but the following is a good summary:

President Nixon is frequently identified as the party responsible for changing Washington’s Birthday into President’s Day and fostering the notion that it is a day for commemorating all U.S. Presidents, a feat he supposedly achieved by issuing a proclamation on 21 February 1971 which declared the third Monday in February to be a “holiday set aside to honor all presidents, even myself.” This claim stems not from fact, however, but from a newspaper spoof. Actually, presidential records indicate that Nixon merely issued an Executive Order (11582) on 11 February 1971 defining the third Monday of February as a holiday, and the announcement of that Executive Order identified the day as “Washington’s Birthday.”

Executive Order (11582) makes no mention of the title’s of the holidays:

(a) Holiday means the first day of January, the third Monday of February, the last Monday of May, the fourth day of July, the first Monday of September, the second Monday of October, the fourth Monday of October, the fourth Thursday of November, the twenty-fifth day of December, or any other calendar day designated as a holiday by Federal statute or Executive order.

Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is the 12th — my husband and I were on a Lincoln Service Amtrak train to Chicago on his birthday. Washington’s birthday s the 22nd — this coming Sunday.

— Steve Patterson


Readers Not Optimistic About ICM/Summer Rocks Concert Series

January 28, 2015 Downtown, Events/Meetings 1 Comment

Readers on Sunday were cynical about the future of the ICM/Summer Rocks concert series that was to start this year:


Q: ICM/Summer Rocks has notified St. Louis they won’t hold a concern Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend is uncertain. Thoughts?

  1. This is why I opposed contracting with an out of state talent agency 7 [22.58%]
  2. Tie 5 [16.13%]
    1. Meh, was going to be a country concert
    2. The Slay Administration screwed up…again
  3. Predicted last year this would happen 4 [12.9%]
  4. ICM’s first music festival, their inexperience shows 4 [12.9%]
  5. Other: 3 [9.68%]
    1. If gamble on ICM is why we lost Bluesweek and Taste = Poor decision STL Leadrshp Add as a poll answer
    2. Combination of “out of state” and “predicted this would happen”
    3. Could be a very wise decision! STL is a DANGEROUS city.
  6. Unrest in the region for the last 6 months is to blame 2 [6.45%]
  7. Unsure/no opinion 1 [3.23%]
  8. Someone else will jump in with a downtown event that weekend 0 [0%]

We’ll have to wait 5-10 years to really know, but it’s off to a rocky start. On Sunday I appeared briefly in a Fox2 report, see ‘No ‘Summer Rocks’ concert event this Memorial Day‘.

— Steve Patterson


The St. Louis Auto Show Starts Today

January 22, 2015 Events/Meetings, Featured Comments Off on The St. Louis Auto Show Starts Today

Last year two stars of the St. Louis Auto Show were the then-upcoming Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon midsize pickups. Both were at the show but on pedestals.  This year, now that sales have begun, the trucks should be available to sit in, pop the hood, etc.

The new GMC Canyon pickup is made at GM's plant in the St. Louis suburb of Wentzville, MO
The new GMC Canyon pickup is made at GM’s plant in the St. Louis suburb of Wentzville, MO

Full disclosure: we own some shares of GM stock.

Here are the hours, starting today at noon:

Thursday Noon – 9 p.m.
Friday Noon – 10 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


For complete details check out the website.

— Steve Patterson


Happy Thanksgiving St. Louis

November 27, 2014 Events/Meetings 1 Comment

Hope you get to spend the day with family and/or friends.

— Steve Patterson


Readers: The US War On Drugs Is A Failure; Drug Policy Lecture/Panel Friday

October 8, 2014 Crime, Drug Policy, Events/Meetings, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Readers: The US War On Drugs Is A Failure; Drug Policy Lecture/Panel Friday
Dr. Hart will be in St. Louis Friday
Dr. Hart will be in St. Louis Friday

In the poll last week readers overwhelmingly felt our ‘War on Drugs’ is a failure, here are the results:

Q: Currently, the US ‘War on Drugs’ is…

  1. a failure 98 [89.09%]
  2. neither a success or failure 9 [8.18%]
  3. Unsure/No Opinion 3 [2.73%]
  4. a success 0 [0%]

Why does this matter? Because police continue wasting resources raiding homes growing okra. Thankfully more and more people, like businessman Richard Branson, are calling for an end to this failed war.

Friday a leading researcher on drugs, Carl Hart Ph.D.,  will be in St. Louis. Dr. Hart will meet with leaders and activists in Ferguson and participate in two public events at Washington University. Having watched his Ted Talk a few times now, watched his congressional testimony, I look forward to seeing him in person. I’ve not read his book High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.

Dr. Carl Hart Lecture: Demystifying the Science of Drug Addiction: Neuroscience, Self-discovery, Race, and U.S. Drug Policy

Date:  October 10, 2014 – 11:00am – 12:00pm
Location:  Anheuser-Busch Hall Moot Courtroom, Room 310

Join the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellows as we welcome Carl Hart, Ph.D., professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, Columbia University and 2014 winner of the PEN/E O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

Dr. Carl Hart Keynote Group Discussion & Panel

Date:  October 10, 2014 – 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Location:  Umrath Lounge, Umrath Hall

Panel and Group Discussion, 2 to 3:30pm
Book Signing & Reception, 3:30 to 5pm

Panel Moderator:
Ken Freedland, Ph.D. – Panel Moderator
Professor of Psychiatry
Washington University

Panel Participants:

  • Carl Hart, Ph.D.Professor of Psychology & PsychiatryColumbia University
  • David Patterson, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of Social WorkWashington University
  • Rumi Price, Ph.D.Professor of PsychiatryWashington University
  • Juliette IacovinoPh.D. Candidate, PsychologyWashington University
  • Mario OrtegaPh.D. Candidate, NeurosciencesWashington University

Click here for a campus map.

I now agree with a majority of Americans that possession of all drugs should be decriminalized, see the study here. This was not easy for me, I came of age at the time First Lady Nancy Reagan was encouraging everyone to “just say no.” We’ve learned a lot in the last 30-40 years, we need to apply this knowledge to our policies.

— Steve Patterson