1789 - 1797
George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. His parents were Augustine and Mary Bell Washington.
Interesting note: Washington was born on February 11, 1731, based on the Julian calendar then in use in the British Colonies. When the Gregorian calendar was adopted in the English Colonies (1752), he opted to begin observing his birth date anniversary on the equivalent date of February 22, 1732. (See Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington's_Birthday)
George had seven brothers and sisters.
His father died when George was 11.
George Washington’s mother never got along with George. She did not want him to be in the Army. She didn’t approve of the revolution and was a Torii (British) supporter. She also was not impressed that he was President of the United States.
The tale of George cutting down the cherry tree was created by Parson Weems. It is not true.
He loved to snack on nuts. hazel nuts were one of his favorites as well as shellbark Nuts that come from a hickory tree. He also enjoyed fish and ice cream. Some sources say his habit of cracking nuts with his teeth was why he had to have false teeth. See below for the make up of his teeth.
George liked to explore caves.
Washington worked as a surveyor.
By time he was 20 he own 2,315 acres of land in the Shenandoah Valley.
Washington had a fair completion and his skin would get sunburned. H would sometimes tie an umbrella to his saddle when he rode so he avoided the sun.
In November of 1751, George made a trip to Barbados it was his first and last trip out of North America. On the trip back he suffered from sea sickness. He never went on a ship again.
When he was 20, he inherited Mount Vernon. That made him on of the largest landholders in Virginia. Washington added new land until Mount Vernon covered over 8,000 acres.
George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis. He was 26 and she was 27. She was a widow and had two children.
Washington owned slaves. He freed his 300 slaves in his will when he died.
At the beginning of the French and Indian War, Washington fought the French from a fort he built. The fort was called Fort Necessity. He lost that battle. He was criticized for where he built the fort and how he fought the battle.
Washington applied to serve as an officer in the British Army. They wouldn't take him because he wasn't born in England. This was the first thing the turn Washington against the British Government. The second was after the war when the British announced they would only give land grants to British Regular soldiers and not the colonist that fought in the war.
George Washington made a practice of inoculating slaves against smallpox. They would take the liquid from a "pox" from person with a mild case of smallpox. They would put that on a piece of thread and put the thread under the skin of the person being inoculated.
Washington learned that the British method of fighting wars would not work against the French or Indians who hid behind trees and mounds of dirt.
During the French and Indian War, Washington had two horses shot from beneath him and four bullets went through his uniform.
Washington at Mount Vernon.
He was about six feet two inches tall and weighed abut 175 pounds. Later in life his weight went up to about 220 pounds. His shoe were size 13. (More recently, historians said he was six foot tall and that his body had been measured in his casket with his toes pointing downward so it measured two extra inches.)
On June 16, 1775 Washing was chosen to be the General and Commander in Chief of the revolutionary army.
He banned the men in the army from using curse words.
"Washington Taking Control of the American Army,
at Cambridge, Mass. July 1775." Copy of lithograph by Currier & Ives, 1876.
National Archives and Records Administration
During the war British General How sent 300 sick people by boat from Boston to the Revolutionary Army lines. There were fears that these ill people had small pox. This may have been the first case of "germ warfare."
During the American Revolution, over five thousand African Americans served in the Continental Army. That made the most integrated army until the Vietnam War.
One of Washington's biggest successes was putting together a make shift army of poor people, young men, African Americans and the downtrodden. He maintained the army for over seven years with little money from Congress.
Washington set up a network of spies during the American Revolution. To protect them he assigned the numbers or code names.
During the war to maintain a fighting spirit of the army he introduced the "Purple Heart" award. Soldiers would receive a purple heart-shaped cloth that the wore on their left breast. After the Revolutionary War this practice was stopped until revive by the president in 1932.
He had no children of his own. He did adopt his Martha's two children from her previous marriage.
George Washington never wore a wig. He often powdered his hair and it looked like he had a wig.
People know about Washington and his false teeth. He actually bought teeth from people including slaves to have wired into his false teeth or to be transplanted into his mouth. The transplants did not work.
President Washington appointed 11 Supreme Court Justices, more than any other President.
Washington enjoyed dancing and at some parties he would stay on the dance floor most of the night.
President Washington signed a proclamation for the first Thanksgiving on November 26.
Washington had to wear reading glasses. He started using them when he was in his 50's.
President Washington was the only president who was unanimously elected president by the electoral college. He ran unopposed for both terms.
George Washington was fifty-seven when he was elected president.
George was one of two presidents who signed the U.S. Constitution. (James Madison was the other president that signed the Constitution.)
Martha Washington missed George's inauguration because she couldn't get to New York in time for the event.
He was the first president to veto a bill from Congress.
His salary was $25,000 per year. He declined to take the money.
George Washington's Vice President was John Adams (1789-1797).
Washington traveled to all the of states in the United States while he was president.
Washington was the only president who didn't represent a political party.
George was the only President who was inaugurated in two cities, New York and Philadelphia.
His first inauguration address was 90 seconds long and consisted of 183 words. The second inaugural address was only 135 words. That was the shortest inaugural address by a president.
President George Washington did not live in the White House. The capital was in Philadelphia and New York while he was president.. He is the only President that didn't live in the White House. He did help select the the place for the new capital and surveyed the area.
Vermont, Kentucky and Tennessee became states while Washington was President.
George Washington never threw a silver dollar across the Potomac, but he did toss a rock to the top of the Natural Bridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The bridge was 215 feet high. George said he never met a man who could throw further than he could.
Washington never wore a wig. He wore his hair pulled together in the back.
President Washington was one of seven Presidents from Virginia.
On January 8, 1790 President Washington gave his first “State of the Union” Address. (Then called the Annual Address.) Members of the Senate, House and the Supreme Court were present.At his second inauguration Washington gave the shortest inaugural address in History. It was only 135 words.
George Washington had false teeth that were carved from, whale bone, rhinoceros ivory and deer antlers. They didn't contain any wood. He still had one tooth when he was elected President. When George was sworn in as president for his second term he only had one tooth left.
Three states were added to the union while he was president: Vermont (1791), Kentucky (1792), Tennessee (1796).
Washington was one of three Presidents who had adopted children.
Washington loved cream of peanut soup.
George loved horses. Before riding he insisted that the horse be cleaned from head to hoof. He even had his helpers brush the horse,s teeth.
He is considered to be one of America,s greatest Presidents.
President Washington's picture on the $1.00 bill is based on a painting by Gilbert Stuart..
He had several dogs. Their names were Sweet Lips, Taster, Tippler, Forester, Vulcan, Madame Moose, Mopsey, Drunkard, True Love and Searcher.
By 1799, Washington had one of the largest commercial distilleries in the United States. He had five cooper stills and produced over 11,000 gallons of whiskey a year. General Henry Lee said of Washington “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his country men.”
One of his favorite white horses was named Prescott. He also had a horse named Nelson.
George Washington had a lot of buildings and places named after him: 1 state, 7 mountains, 8 streams, 10 lakes, 33 counties, 9 colleges, Washington d.C. and 121 towns and villages.
He liked to fish.
His farewell address in 1796 was printed in the newspaper but was never delivered orally.
George Washington died of a throat infection on Dec. 14, 1799, some time after 10 p.m. at Mount Vernon, Virginia. He was 67. He was the only president to die in the 1700's.
When he died Congress (Delivered by Light Horse Harry Lee.) made this statement: “First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
George Washington was the first president to be pictured on a postage stamp. It was a ten cent stamp issued in 1847.
"The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon." July 28, 1795
George gave this advice to his adopted grandson: “where there is no occasion for expressing an opinion, it is at all times more easy to make enemies than friends."
"Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder."
"I walk on un trodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct that may not hereafter be drawn into precedent."
Some facts about George Washington came from: