Scramblin' thru... the U.S. Presidents
"The Father of Our Country"
"The Sword of the Revolution"
"The American Cincinnatus"
"The Sage of Mount Vernon"
Level: 5th grade
(later got surveyor's certificate from
College of William & Mary)
Biological Kids: 0
Stepkids: 2 (Martha's)
Election of 1789
Election of 1792
A Presidential Life in Review
George Washington was Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and served two terms as the 1st U.S. President from 1789 to 1797. The son of a prosperous planter, Washington was raised in colonial Virginia. As a young man, he worked as a surveyor then fought in the French and Indian War. During the American Revolution, he led the rag-tag colonial forces to victory over the British and became a national hero. In 1787, he was elected President of the convention that wrote the U.S. Constitution. Two years later, Washington became America's first Chief Executive. From the Whiskey Rebellion to keeping the infant nation's neutrality overseas, Washington was hugely successful as President. Realizing that the way he handled the job would impact how future Presidents approached the position, he handed down a legacy of strength, integrity, and national purpose. Less than three years after leaving office, he died at his Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, at the age of 67. Source: The History Channel
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George Washington Fun Facts
How many birthdates do you have? Just one? Typical. Washington has two: February 11th and February 22nd. The date you'll see listed for his birthday these days is February 22nd. However, Washington was actually born on February 11, 1732. This date was based on the Julian Calendar, which was the calendar in use in Britain and its 13 American colonies. When the Gregorian Calendar was adopted in the 13 colonies in 1752, Washington opted to begin observing his "new" birth date instead, which was - after the shift - now on February 22nd.
Seventeen U.S. Presidents did not have middle names. Washington was one of them.
Washington wore size 13 shoes. (President Warren G. Harding had the largest feet: size 14.)
Washington was the only President who was unanimously elected President by the Electoral College. (Of course, when you run unopposed both times, that helps...) President James Monroe came the closest to Washington's record. In the Election of 1820, Monroe scored 98.3% of the Electoral Vote... even though, he, too, was running unopposed. (He won 231 of the 235 Electoral Votes, with one Elector casting a vote for John Quincy Adams and three choosing not to cast votes at all.)
Washington never chopped down a cherry tree... ever.
Washington had several dogs. Their names were Sweet Lips, Taster, Tippler, Forester, Vulcan, Madame Moose, Mopsey, Drunkard, True Love, and Searcher. Sweet Lips was his favorite of the bunch.
At the time of his inauguration, Washington had only one tooth left in his mouth. He wore dentures made of human teeth, animal teeth, ivory, and lead. Contrary to popular belief, he never wore teeth made of wood.
Washington is the only President to have never lived in Washington, D.C. during his Presidency. Construction on the White House began in 1792 but wasn't completed until 1800, when John Adams was President. Instead, Washington lived in a small, red brick house at 190 High Street in Philadelphia (which was the nation's capital at that time).
While Washington enjoyed eating pineapples and Brazil nuts, his favorite food was ice cream (which may explain the whole "no teeth" thing). He was so fond of ice cream that he had ice cream coolers installed in his home.
Early into his first term as President, Washington was faced with what later became known as the Whiskey Rebellion. It was started in 1791 by farmers in Pennsylvania in protest of a new tax on whiskey. (Should anyone be shocked that American farmers took to their guns because they were angry over taxes?!) The previous government under the Articles of Confederation had been unable to levy taxes, but, under the Constitution, the new U.S. Government had that power... so it opted to pass a "sin tax" on distilled spirits (alcohol). The "Whiskey Tax" (as it became known) was immediately controversial, and many people on the frontier felt the tax unfairly targeted Westerners. Whiskey was a popular drink, and farmers often supplemented their incomes by operating small stills to produce alcohol. Throughout several counties in Western Pennsylvania, protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent Federal officials from collecting the tax (much like the colonists had done to British tax collectors). Washington responded by sending 13,000 militiamen... and personally rode at the head of the army... to suppress the insurgency. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned. This was the first (and only time) a sitting American President led troops into battle. In the end, the Whiskey Rebellion demonstrated that the new Federal Government had the willingness and ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws. The Whiskey Tax remained difficult to collect, however, and was repealed after the election of Thomas Jefferson in 1800.
Washington's salary was $25,000 per year, which is roughly $332,000 in today's money. He declined to take the money.
Washington's wife, Martha, did not want him to be President... so she refused to attend his inauguration.
In addition to the nation's capital and one state, 31 counties and 18 towns across the U.S. are named in Washington's honor.
Washington had over 300 slaves that worked on his Mount Vernon estate. Upon his death, every slave was granted freedom per the terms in his will.
Washington was supposed to be buried under the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. (In fact, an empty vault is still there.) Instead, Washington wanted to be buried at his Mount Vernon estate, where he remains today next to his wife, Martha.
Washington was the only President not to belong to a political party, although his views were similar to those in the Federalist Party.
The six white horses in Washington's stables had their teeth brushed every morning on Washington's orders. (Maybe he should have done the same...)
Believing that shaking hands was beneath the dignity of the President, Washington preferred to bow to greet guests. To avoid being forced into a handshake, he would place one hand on his sword and hold his hat in another.
Washington's Second Inaugural Address was only 135 words long and took less than 2 minutes to read. (His First Address was over 2,000 words.)
When the Bastille was captured by a French mob in 1789, beginning the French Revolution (1789-1799), Marquis de Lafayette (who had served under Washington in the American Revolution) sent a key of the notorious prison to Washington at Mount Vernon. The key is still there.
On October 3, 1789, Washington designated November 26th of that year (a Thursday) as a day of "Thanksgiving" in honor of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
Washington never delivered his Farewell Address in public. It was printed in the American Daily Advertiser. In it, Washington warned us to stay out of foreign affairs and to avoid forming political parties. (Good thing we listened...)